Monday, August 23, 2010

Trusting Antón

Can Igor Antón podium at the Vuelta? Can he even win the whole thing? Igor González de Galdeano certainly thinks so, but was keen to play down expectations in an interview with DEIA yesterday. "Igor has got the talent to win the Vuelta", the former rider said. "But we won't make that an objective for him." Antón has been tipped for great things for years now, and, though he's taken some big wins and showed flashes of his undoubted potential, he's yet to make a real impact as a general classification rider in a Grand Tour. According to Galdeano, the time is now. "His goal is to fight for mountain-stage wins and also for a place on the podium, like he did two years ago (when he crashed out of the race descending the Cordal). Igor is special to me. He's the present of t Basque cycling, the rider with the biggest talent. I don't think the pressure will get to him. He puts pressure on himself; to stay with the best ones. In that aspect he's matured a lot lately." Galdeano also went on to say that Beñat Intxausti will fully be at Antón's disposal throughout the race. Personally, I think Igor might just win the whole race outright. His biggest adversaries are likely to be Menchov, Mosquera, the Schleck brothers and Nibali as far as I can see. I don't think Menchov will pose a threat. That might sound ridiculous, I get that. After all he's won the race twice and the Giro once, not to mention he's taken two thirds at the Tour. But I think he's a spent force as far as this season goes. I think his Tour-form will have disappeared when the race kicks off in Sevilla. But I might be wrong. I often am. Anyway, he won't win it I think. Neither will Mosquera. He might finally grab that much-longed for and richly deserved podium place this year, but he hasn't got the talent nor the class to win a GT. No way. Nibali is a dark-horse. I don't think anyone really knows where his form is at these days. He recently took a mightily impressive win in Italy, but I'm not sure he's got the form to fight for yet another GT podium this year. He'll finish fifth I reckon. I don't think Andy Schleck will be top motivated after his Tour ride. He might take a stage-win or two, and maybe drop out underway, so he won't win the thing. Fränk will be motivated, but if Antón is in top shape Fränk won't be able to follow him. Trust me; this is a race for Antón to lose. So much for playing down expectations.


arnout said...

Couldn't agree more.

racejunkie said...

Excellent analysis as always, Magnus. And I dearly hope you're right--though I do think Frank is highly motivated, he's not so suited to these climbs I think, and how sweet would it be for Euskaltel to take it all?!

Magnus said...

Thanks guys! Yeah, a GT win would cap off quite a decent season!


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