Romain Feillu, the outspoken sprinter of Vacansoleil-DCM, reckons Mark Cavendish is the fastest rider at the Tour de France. "He's perhaps the strongest [sprinter] because he has the advantage to have a very strong team for the lead-out" he told Le Parisien/Aujourd'hui en France. "He's got a brilliant burst of speed, a lot of power and a great aerodynamic position."
Feillu says, however, that Cavendish's main drawback is his attitude toward his rivals. "He's got a big Achilles heel: his arrogance toward everybody." The Frenchman explained to another newspaper, Ouest-France: "He likes saying he's the best. He behaves a bit like Ricco. About doping I'm sure he's different. But in his attitude he's a bit like a wrestler, he wants the others to be impressed. He wages a psychological war."
According to Feillu, Cavendish's attitude could backfire against him at the Tour de France. "Quite a few sprinters could combine against him," he told Le Parisien. "For my part, even if he is a great sprinter he's not always respected me. If I can close him off in a sprint, I won't hesitate."
A winner of eight races this season, Feillu, aged 27, wore the yellow jersey one day at the 2008 Tour de France thanks to a breakaway. He tells Ouest-France that he's more comfortable with rivals such as Thor Hushovd or Alessandro Petacchi. "They have a more peaceful attitude [than Cavendish]. You'll never hear them saying they are the best. I feel more similar to Thor Hushovd, firstly because of our favoured route profiles, I mean false flat, and then in term of discretion."