Tour de France: Stage 2 preview

Visé – Tournai

Distance: 207.5km
Highest point: 190m
Category: Flat

Gloves off for the sprinters
Already more than halfway towards Eddy Merckx’s record of 34 Tour stage victories, Mark Cavendish will have this stage very much in his sights. However, the list of challengers to the Briton’s sprint crown continues to grow. Also likely to feature are Tyler Farrar, André Greipel, Peter Sagan and new German star Marcel Kittel. The presence of Cavendish’s erstwhile lead-out men, Matt Goss and Mark Renshaw, also adds another intriguing edge. Cavendish has been a slow starter at recent Tours but should get plenty of motivation from his desire to keep his rivals in check.

André Greipel
: "This is the first real opportunity for the sprinters. The finishing straight (on Boulevard Bara) is straight and wide which should make it easier to organise the lead-out trains and it will be interesting to see which teams have clicked."

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