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La Primavera Start list and favs

Since Cyclingnews has been so kind as to print an accurate start list (Velonews still has Hincapie riding for Discovery - dolts!), I'm going to do a quick summary of who's a threat from each team. This is only my .02 and is based partly on previous experience and partly on the 2006 season so far.

  • Milram - duh. Petacchi with Zabel leading him out. Or vice versa if Ale Jet is feeling tired after slogging the Poggio.
  • AG2R - Sarah would like me to say Christophe Moreau but he's a stiff. JP Nazon is their sprinter and they'll stick by him.
  • Bouygues Telecom - No one. I don't like any of their riders.
  • Ceramica Panaria-Navigare - Paride Grillo, because I like his name, he's italian, and some people mistake him for Bettini ;-)
  • CA - I introduce you to the God of Thunder, Mr. Hushovd. And look for Saul Raisin to get in a breakaway on one the climbs. He's proven that he can lead a break for a lonnnnnnnnnng time.
  • Discovery - the team will be working for Roger Hammond or Max Van Heeswijk, two guys who can still sprint after a long, hard haul.
  • Fran?aise des Jeux - Brad McGee, the only guy I like on this team. And hopefully he'll escape in 2007.
  • Lampre-Fondital - Danilo Napolitano, with Cunego shaking the pace up on the Cipressa or the Poggio. Watch Ballan too.
  • Liquigas - with DiLuca using this as a training ride Big Maggie is the man. And rumor has it he's dropped about 16lbs since last season, putting him in the high 180s. Plenty light enough to get over the climbs and contend. He handles hard races with ease.
  • Phonak - Uros Murn. Love the team, love his name, heard he can sprint.
  • Rabobank - they're coming to race loaded for bear, everyone riding for Oscar Freire. And no, I did not do that on purpose. Ok, maybe I did.
  • CSC - No real sprinters in the bunch but Cancellara is capable of lots of power over semi-short distances.
  • T-Mobile - Erik Za.......oh, fuck. Hey, who wants to be sprinter today?
  • Acqua Sapone - No know, no care.
  • Barloworld - Astarloa, Mana's younger brother.
  • Caisse d'Epargne-Illes Balears - I refuse to use their full name, it's too unwieldly. From now on they shall be called Escargot Bears. Jose Vincente Acosta shall lead them.
  • Cofidis - Good God, can't Brad Wiggins join up with McGee and form their own two man team? Just out of protest for non-support?
  • Davitamon - Rene McEwen, though he may still be too banged up to even make the final selection.
  • Euskaltel-Euskadi - hey, where are the hills?
  • Gerolsteiner - The pride of Argentina, Davide Rebellin.
  • Liberty Seguros-W?rth Team - Allan Davis must be getting a Zabel complex.
  • Naturino-Sapore Di Mare - who?
  • Quick Step-Innergetic - like I even have to say. Unless Il Grillo arranges for some 'friends' to have a word with the Tornado.
  • Saunier Duval-Prodir - Rubens Bertogliati, because of his great stage win at the 2002 Tour.
  • Team L.P.R. - Dmitri Konyshev, because he finished 2nd to Lemond at the 1989 World Championship in Chambery. I believe he was a domestique for Coppi as well.