Slim To None. The chances of Cav getting beaten two days running in a sprint.
Today is a guaranteed bunchie. It’s a flat stage heading to the base of the Pyrenees, and the third last opportunity for the sprinters to shine. There’s nary a categorised climb to be seen, so everyone’s favourite car accident victim Johnny “Breakaway” Hoogerland will remain in the King of the Mountains jersey for one more stage, although how much longer he can survive in the race itself is anyone’s guess.
And so three of the four best sprinters in the world over the last three years have taken out a stage this year (with Petacchi the only man not to have pinched one) — we’re likely to finally get a look at the Garmin-HTC leadout train to Ty-Cav final 250m shootout, with Greipel looking to snipe from the wheel of Cav (the wheel everyone wants!) Garmin no longer have to worry about controlling the whole stage as yellow jersey holders, and there’s nowhere for an opportunist like Gilbert to lay the hurt down on the sprinters late in the race, thus sucking workers out of leadout trains in order to drag him back in and set up a sprint (that was brilliant last night!)
Ty hasn’t been contesting sprints in the past few stages, but he may have just been on the wrong side of crashes, or unable to stay in touch with the peloton up the kicker hills. At least that’s what I’m hoping!
Cav’s been brilliant with victories, and even gracious in defeat: a most pleasant change. Greipel has his win, and if it’s not a highly technical finish he will once again be in and amongst it. Rojas has been sniffing around for the win and will be upskis again today, as will Petacchi.
My heart says Farrar, but my head says Cav.