The Tour de France is days away, and will open in Yorkshire with a predicted mad dash to the line in Harrogate. Perhaps no sprinter has more motivation than Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-Quickstep), whose mother hails from the finish town, but he will be up against an all-out assault from the likes of Marcel Kittel (Giant-Shimano) in the quest for the first yellow jersey of the race.
The second stage offers another opportunity for a different kind of sprinter: the stage to Sheffield will be less for the pure sprinters and more for the Classics men, and who other than Peter Sagan (Cannondale) will top the list of contenders to possibly take over the maillot jaune? He'll be hunting for a third green jersey, and more stage wins than the one he got in 2013, especially considering the three he won in the first week of the 2012 Tour.
Another flat finish on stage 3 in London will suit the pure sprinters again. In total nine stages are classified by Tour organiser ASO as "flat", suiting the sprinters, provided a breakaway doesn't stay clear.
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