Some of the Anglo-Saxon teams make a point of focusing on the team time trial as these tests underline the homogeneity and intrinsic value of the group as a whole.
You don’t get that sort of psycho-sociological-nationalistic analysis on the Premiership website, do you?
This is shaping up to be an interesting Tour – the format, with no prologue time trial, makes the first week quite open and then loads up some very interesting tests for the riders in the last week. I think it’s going to be Andy Schleck’s year at last – he’s continually improving, and I can see him having a race like Sastre’s in 2008 where he keeps pace with his rivals for most of the race then destroys the rest of the field on the Alpe D’Huez and builds an impregnable lead.
As for British riders, I think Bradley Wiggins will do well – top 10 and possibly even top 5 – but this is not a route that favours him with too many big mountains and not enough time trials. Of the other British riders, Geraint Thomas could be one to watch. He’s got a lot of potential and could end today in yellow if Sky can use the ‘homogoneity and intrinsic value of the group’ to win.