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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, we are about to enter the grand tour/stage racing season in earnest. This led me to thinking about who the riders are that I expect and/or would like to see perform well in each major category. Here are my thoughts. What are yours?:

GC Contenders:

1. V. Nibali
2. S. Chavanel
3. Ryder Hej.
4.A. Talansky
5. Tejay VanG.
-My top 5 here really just ended up being the guys I really enjoy watching and can't help but pull for. The next tier would be D. Martin, C. Evans, J. Rodriguez, etc.

Bunch Sprinters:

1. Cavendish
2. Kittell
3. Degenkolb
4. Ciolek
5. Griepel

Classics/Puncheurs (most races have some stages that are perfect for these guys):

1. Sagan (could also be on the bunch sprinter list)
2. Gilbert
3. J. Rodriguez (could also be on the GC list)
4. T. Hushovd (I know that I have to let this dream die soon)
5. M. Moser (he's becoming one of my favorite young guys)

Climbers:

1. Contador
2. Dan Martin
3. Froome (who could dominate the rest of the season with his combination of climbing and time trialing skills).
4. Quintana
5. A number of other Columbian riders on various teams

Time Trialists:

1. T. Phinney
2. T. Martin
3. Cancellara (not ready to let go)
4. Wiggo
5. Froome

Teams:

1. BMC
2. Garmin
3. OPQS
4. Argos Shimano
5. AG2R (quietly having a very good season)
*6 MTN Qhubeka (I just love these guys and couldn't leave them off)

Who are you expecting to see big things from and/or pulling for?
 

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1. V. Nibali
2. S. Chavanel
3. Ryder Hej.- Not a chance. He had a fluke year. Enjoy it Canada. Top ten at best.
4.A. Talansky- Not ready yet for the big time. Give it a couple years.
5. Tejay VanG.- Again, in a couple years maybe. Will be working for Cadel.

I think you forgot about some heavy hitters though: Wiggins, Froome, Contador, Van den Broek, Rodriguez, and Evans
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
1. V. Nibali
2. S. Chavanel
3. Ryder Hej.- Not a chance. He had a fluke year. Enjoy it Canada. Top ten at best.
4.A. Talansky- Not ready yet for the big time. Give it a couple years.
5. Tejay VanG.- Again, in a couple years maybe. Will be working for Cadel.

I think you forgot about some heavy hitters though: Wiggins, Froome, Contador, Van den Broek, Rodriguez, and Evans
We'll see, but I kind of have to disagree on a number of fronts:

1. Ryder has continued to look good since that time (except for his crashfest at last year's TdF). I truly think he has turned the corner and is in a zone.
2. Talansky has proved that he is ready the last two years at Romandie and last year at the Vuelta. He has added a 2nd overall to that this year at Paris-Nice.
3. Tejay's top 5 in the TdF last year speaks for itself. A number of folks seriously doubt that Cadel has it right now and Tejay could be the protected rider by the 2nd week. Keep in mind that he was also "working" for Cadel last year, but beat him pretty handidly and earned his first top 5.
 

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Where's that GPS?
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1) Conti
2) Froome
3) Nibali
4) Rodriguez
5) Porte
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
1) Conti
2) Froome
3) Nibali
4) Rodriguez
5) Porte
That's a very sound list LV (you probably have more likely winners than I do, but I like venturing out on the limb to support the younguns). I can't argue with any of your choices. We find common ground with Nibali.... Go VN!!
 

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Thomas De Gendt
My hope as well. I think he is a huge talent whose time will come - he's been close on a number of occassions and has won some exciting stages. Barring injuries etc., I suspect De Gendt will be in everyone's top five soon enough.
 
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