Saturday, June 30, 2012

Tour de France: sprinters

The obvious candidates from the sprinters this year are Cavendish, Sagan, and Greipel. Cav is the lock for the green jersey. Lean, mean, and focused, he's frustrated from falling one point short in the Giro, and is coming into the Tour looking for intermediate sprint points. The green is about consistency in the sprint finishes and reaching intermediate sprints over initial climbs that the gorilla sprinters can't. Cav lost 4 kg before the Tour for this purpose. For raw sprint wins, Cav's at a disadvantage this year. Sky's focused on the yellow, and with Cav's focus on staying light, he's not going to have the brute power a monster like Greipel has, or be conserving strength for the final like Sagan. So I don't expect the usual Cavendish domination this time. Greipel has been a true monster in sprints this year, and I think he's the guy for the big sprints. Sagan was unbeatable in the Tour of California and races following, but he hasn't gone against Andre Greipel. So I expect Sagan will get a win or two, but Greipel more like three. Cavendish will win as well, but Greipel is the man for the raw sprint stages this year.


EricD said...

bold prediction! griepel has a history of not being able to follow his leadout though. i'm very curious to see how cav turns out. they claim he hasn't lost any power, but it's hard to believe with that kind of weight loss.

schwa said...

Sagan pretty much locked up the green jersey today. To be fair, you couldn't have predicted Cav's crash on stage 6. One thing that maybe could have been predicted is the inattention Sky has paid to Cav.

djconnel said...

I figured Sky would ignore Cav, which is why (in conjunction with Cav's recent focus on climbing) I thought Greipel was the guy for the sprints (which proved true). However, I thought Cav would be more consistent, and that he'd manage to grab a few intermediate sprints that Sagan got dropped prior to. That's not happened.

I have been surprised by Sagan's consistency. Guys his age aren't supposed to be able to do that!