Lampre's Marzio Bruseghin won a damp time trial in in Stage 10 of the Giro d'Italia overnight, but it was Astana's overall performance that has caught Mike Tomalaris's eye.
7 Apr 2015 - 11:32 PM  UPDATED 13 Apr 2015 - 3:36 PM

The stage 10 time trial at the Giro this morning underlined yet again what a terrible loss the Tour de France will be without one of the world's most polished teams - Astana.

I just wonder what is going through the minds of TdF head-honchos who may be watching the progress of the Astana boys and thinking twice about banning them from their race this year.

Podcast: video highlights of every stage of the 2008 Giro d'Italia

Three Astana riders finished in the top 10 today in conditions many would describe as brutal.
Alberto Contador, Andreas Kloden and Levi Leipheimer were awesome in the race-against-the-clock.
It was a performance that would challenge the best at the Tour, but sadly that won't happen in 2008 because of the decision not to invite Astana following suspicions of past links with doping.
It's obvious Astana has built a team around time trial specialists for the Giro.
If one fails to complete this three week epic, it has the depth of talent and rich reserves which could do the job - which takes me back to the Tour de France.
Without Astana, there's no question Cadel Evans will travel to France as a raging hot favourite.
So if he manages to win the Tour, will it be remembered as a hollow victory and will Cadel be totally satisfied with the end result?
Probably not.
As mentioned before in this blog, the Astana of 2008, is different to the drugs-fuelled combination of 2007.
Attitudes have changed from top to bottom.
Under the management of British legend Sean Yates, this is a team which has set strict doping control guidelines.
Kloden himself has spoken out at the many blood tests he has undergone so far this year - at last count it was 22.
Besides, Astana riders would be stupid to be caught out taking doping products a second time in two years.
Frankly, I'd be surprised to see it happen again given the scutiny that the team is under - either from it's own management, Tour de France organisers and/or the the UCI.
There's under seven weeks to go before the Tour de France gets underway in Brittany.
That's more than enough time for ASO to reverse its decision and ensure Astana makes it to the start line.
With a global audience watching and interest in the great race bigger and better than ever, it's only right the world's best race has the world's best riders - bar none.