TDF part 2: The green jersey!

Part 2 of the TDF preview. Today we will be looking at the potential winners of the green jersey.
First let’s take a look at the odds for the main players. This time in stead of 5, 7 contenders. At the moment it is still not sure if Tom Boonen is allowed to participate, Tuesday we will now more.

Look always, the odds come from Unibet.
Cavendish (Team Columbia) – 2.00
Freire (Rabobank) – 4.50
Bennati (Liquigas) – 6.00
Boonen (Quickstep) – 7.00
Hushovd (Cervelo) – 8.00
Haussler (Cervelo) – 22.00
Napolitano (Katuska)– 25.00

At the moment probably the fastest sprinter based on pure speed and power. He also has learned to hang in there on small climbs. The best prove of this is his victory in Milan San Remo.
But he has never finished in Paris in the past 2 tours. Also, he is probably the lesser climber of all sprinters which can be dangerous.
On the positive side the course fits him like a glove with probably 5 or 6 bunch sprints. Don’t be surprised if he takes down at least 4 of them. (15 victories this year.)

He is always there when a bunch sprint takes place. Maybe he doesn’t posses the pure speed to beat Cavendish, but there are 1 or 2 stages where he probably will take points for the jersey, while Cavendish is struggling to stay at the bunch. The finish in Barcelona is such a classic example. 2 victories this year.

He really wants that green jersey but that’s not enough. He is fast enough and is one of the sprinters who were capable of beating Cavendish. Maybe he can do this again this TDF. He also will have no problem getting through the high mountains. The problem is that he did have some health problems in the past year and probably didn’t have an excellent preparation for this years Tour. 3 victories this year.

It all will depend on the verdict of the French Supreme Court. If he is allowed to start he probably wants to prove what he can. But in pure speed he can’t overpower Cavendish. On the other hand he proved last Sunday that he is ready by winning, for the first time, the Belgian Championship. 4 victories this year.

Certitude for the green jersey. Almost always ending in the top5 when it comes down to a bunch sprint and that’s how you win the jersey. Last year he ended second place but Freire has the course advantage. He also has a great lead out with Haussler but that also can be his disadvantage if he fails to get a decent result in the first 2 sprints. He can do it, but I don’t expect him to win the jersey. 4 victories this year.

The lead out for Cavendish but is for sure fast enough to win a bunch sprint if Cavendish is not available. He will only get chances when Hushovd fails or crashes. 4 victories this year.

A real pure sprinter. Didn’t expect to go to the Tour this year but Steegmans didn’t sign the doping charter of the team. So Katuska did not select Steegmans and gave Napolitano the chance. He will end some times in the top 5 but I don’t see him winning a race or the green jersey. Just like Haussler don’t throw your money away. 3 victories this year.

My verdict:
If we are honest and look at the profile of the stages, there could only one big favorite for the green jersey and that’s mark Cavendish. But betting wise the odds are maybe to low for a 3 week race where a lot can happen. He will need to score a lot of points during the 4 potential bunch sprints because the high mountains will come soon this year. Maybe it is not the question if he survives them but how much energy will cost it to survive them. The best bet looks to be Freire or Hushovd. My money is on both of them.


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