Five stages to go in the Giro d'Italia and Alberto Contador is looking reasonably snug in the maglia rosa.
He's clearly not at his best, but even riding around with a busted elbow he's shown that he can be a contender in any major tour. Given that he won't be at this year's Tour de France, in the words of his team manager Johan Bruyneel, he "might as well win" the Giro.
Of the stages left, there are two tough mountain ones and one flat/downhill time trial. We know Contador is pretty hard to shake on a climb, although his nearest Rivals Riccardo Riccò and Gilberto Simoni will certainly try. And probably Emanuele Sella as well, if he can find the same energy that nearly netted him three incredible mountain stage wins in a row. But Sella's only in 8th, 4'25 down on the general classification, and won't be allowed much more rope by the top riders.
Franco Pellizotti was the last rider I would have picked to win the mountain time trial to Plan de Corones, but the so-dubbed Dolphin of Bibione showed that curly hair and riding uphill fast can work. There's easily a post-doctoral research project in that one.
In the final time trial, I can't see Contador losing much to bruisers like Marzio Bruseghin and Denis Menchov, and he should put time into the other climbers. He's always been good against the clock, despite his slight build. On the other hand, he doesn't push much air out of the way.
In a race like the Giro, you never know, but I see him winning the overall by a couple of minutes come Sunday's finale.
In closing, David Millar complained that doing a mountain time trial up a dirt road is turning the sport into a circus. Come on, Mr Felt discus champion, when was it ever not?