This is always one of my favorite posts... sorting out the best and worst predictions made here at the Cafe concerning the Tour de France.
In Gavia's Likely Stories post, she predicted that one of the big names would go down in the two Classics stages, to Spa and Wallers. Not the heaviest lifting of her writing career, but spot on nonetheless as Tyler Farrar, Christian VandeVelde and Frank Schleck all suffered race-shortening injuries.
Ursula nailed the podium, which really means he nailed the Menchov selection. He also had Kreuziger ahead of Basso, and pegged Vino for 16th. Using numbers, no less. Of course, those same numbers made him pick Van den Broeck 21st...
I picked Cavendish to win Green, not too far off from reality. Sadly, I had this to say about Petacchi:
This old warhorse is almost certainly hunting for stages. Assuming he even makes the Lampre squad, you can bet he'll be satisfied with a win or two -- certainly within his abilities -- and won't make much pretense of carrying on to Paris. An old tiger doesn't change his stripes.
Can't believe I fell for that bag of sand. And I made nary a mention of JJ Rojas Gil. Swish! Oh well, at least I had the sense to call Maxime Monfort an "indispensible teammate."
Onto the specific riders, PhilH had this to say: "Lance is never to be doubted at the Tour and his form seems to be on the up." Prediction, just off the podium.
I love this one:
You can bet Cadel will never be far from Marcus Burghardt on Stage 3.
That's from JSallee. Burghardt finished 2.25 behind the leaders, including Cadel. I will not be meeting Mr. Sallee in Vegas anytime soon.
Special credit to Jimbo, who predicted that "at some point Carlos Barredo will hit someone over the head with a rear wheel." So close...
Vlaanderen90 mentioned Adriano Malori as a kid to watch in the time trials. And true to form, Malori used the final ITT to snatch away the Lanterne Rouge from an overly prideful Bert Grabsch.
FrenchKeldar had this to say about John Gadret:
I expect a steady pace from Gadret in the Alps but I can see him taking his chances in the 3rd week where he will be back in shape. Look for him to score a top 10 finish at Plateau de Bonascre and maybe a top 20 finish overall.
Taking his chances... that's one way of putting it. Numbers-wide, good call: Gadret was a very memorable 19th and the top French rider.
OK, got others? Got votes for best and worst?