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Wouldnt it be great to see 'dish vs. Boonen and Petacchi in those final sprints! I know they deserve to miss the tour but I keep thinking about it. The other guys arent really challenging him much. Although Friere looked pretty spritely near the line, closing fast. I gotta say my man Mcewen looked to be in pretty good position but just doesnt have any guiddyup. The helicopters are great, you can really pick guys out and follow them through the bunch during the sprint.
 

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bigmig19 said:
Wouldnt it be great to see 'dish vs. Boonen and Petacchi in those final sprints!
Given that McEwen seems to be a shadow of his former self, I would rank Petacchi and Boonen as the two best sprinters in the world. Cavendish gets into the club if he starts giving as good as he gets from them.
 

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adding those two would have made these sprints a bigger toss up. i think it might have helped rocket as well. more teams, more trains, more wheels to follow. i think the sprints would probably have been battles between thor and boonen, leaving cavendish behind a bit. i dont think cav would have three stage wins now, thats for sure.
 

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Im a big Thor fan, but he seems to be losing to Cavendish pretty straight-up everytime. He seems to come up second and third alot to guys like canevdish, boonen and pettachi (and Mcewen in the past). I dont want to call him second tier, but how often does he sprint by Friere or the guys mentioned above? Im not quite sure what his specialty is? Uphill sprints?
 
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I think that the only guy who can go head to head with Cavo is Daniele Bennati. Pettachi and Boonen need an even cleaner lead out to win, IMHO. More and more I think that Thor is a guy for strong man sprints - he doesn't have enough top end to go head to head with Cavo.
 

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I'd have to agree that the tour sprints are missing boonen, but not sure pettacchi. I also think that cav's chances to win would INCREASE with the addition of the other fastmen. His top end is REDICULOUS. that kind of top end works well with or without a leadout, and i'm not sure if boonen would be able to keep him from coming around. It's enjoyable to watch, and hopefully next year, there will be more sprinters competing, including JJ Haedo, who seems like he could compete.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Interestingly, winning the stage is worth barely anything compared to 2nr, 3rd etc.. Thats why its so valuable to sprint even its for 6th place. They probaly should give maybe a 10 point bonus for the win if its going to be "thought of" as a sprinters jersey. Then again they probably purposely want to keep it close/interesting with the points.
The ASO aint got nothing to do with Patacchi. They could have ferreted out the cheaters a long time ago (just like MLB) but didnt want any ratings problems. All the cheaters they are finding right now have performed quite well in previous tours and I doubt they just started cheating. They cant get everyone, granted, but this holier than thou attitude now that they are looking a little harder is nausiating.
 

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The helicopter cam told the story today. Cavendish is the fastest man on a bike. There isn't a close second. Boonen and/or Pettachi's presence might make the mix different in the sprint finishes, but there is no doubt about who is fastest.

JSR
 

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culdeus said:
How is MC so far down in the green competition to OF? OF has only beaten him in one stage event so far. What am I missing?
Freire has run very consistent earlier on and plays far more tactically, gaining points in the mid sprints. Cavendish didn't come into the tour to win green, just stages but that may well end up being very different now. Freire needs to capitalize on his strengths as a strong flat and decent climber by continuing to rack up mid sprint points, although Hushovd and Zabel will try to do the same.
 

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I am wondering whether Cavendish will bail to prepare for the Olympics. On one hand they only come around every four years and there is always next year for the green jersey but he has a serious chance at the green jersey this year and probably some records for the future. Plus, with Kirchen out of the yellow hunt the whole team can pull for him. Dont know if rabobank would do the same foir OF because of Menchov.
 

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Petacchi is fairly old now. I believe he's my age (34). Boonen would probably be the best competition for Cavendish, but even then I think Cav wins 2 out of 3. Boonen's a more well rounded rider though. I can't see Cavendish ever winning Flanders. Watch the sprint of this year's P-R. Boonen absolutely blew Cancellara and Ballan away. It was a thing of beauty. That said, it was a lot different situation than a field sprint.

Right now I think the very top tier of sprinters are:
Cavendish
Boonen
McEwen (I'll give him the benefit of the doubt right now)
Bennati

Just below those guys you have (better climbers, can win very occasionally against top tier. Guys that no breakaway wants in the group):
Friere
Hushovd
Zabel
Pozzato

Then the third tier is pretty much every French sprinter, Julian Dean, etc.

I'm not real sure where Hunter fits in. Maybe 2nd tier. I'm sure I've forgotten some guys (Petacchi is suspended so I don't account for him. We'll see how strong he is when he comes back)

Gerald Ciolek will most likely be top tier as well. I just can't see him staying with Columbia through another contract. I'm sure he and Cav get along great, however Ciolek is too good to play 2nd fiddle.
 
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