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The Tour de France is more than just the fight for the yellow jersey with a multitude of stories and threads weaving their way through the three weeks of racing. One such story is the battle of the sprinters.
The majority of teams have fielded a sprinter, and this year, the fast men have as many as nine chances to secure a win, maybe more for those who can handle the mountains. As well as the crowning glory of a victory on the Champs Elysees, the yellow jersey is also on offer for the sprinters.
Marcel Kittel and his Quick-Step Floors lead-out were the dominant force in the sprints at the 2017 Tour de France with the German storming his way to five victories before he abandoned in the race in the final week. Kittel will be racing in the colours of Katusha-Alpecin this season and will have a harder time racking up the wins, as they continue to find their feet.
While Kittel dominated the bunch sprints, it was Michael Matthews that came home with the green jersey after two stage wins and a consistent run of placings. Matthews is not going for green this year but will still be hunting stage success.
There will also be plenty of competition for Kittel and Matthews in the bunch gallop, and Cyclingnews has compiled a list of eight sprinters to watch at this year's Tour de France.
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Born in Ireland to a cycling family and later moved to the Isle of Man, so there was no surprise when I got into the sport. Studied sports journalism at university before going on to do a Masters in sports broadcast. After university I spent three months interning at Eurosport, where I covered the Tour de France. In 2012 I started at Procycling Magazine, before becoming the deputy editor of Procycling Week. I then joined Cyclingnews, in December 2013.
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