Brit Cavendish among favourites for Tour de France green jersey
Miles Crosby | July 4, 2015
Following on from our look at the contenders for overall victory in the Tour de France, it’s time to look at the sprinters who will be fighting it out for the green jersey. Amongst these is Britain’s Mark Cavendish, a former winner of the prize and of a phenomenal 25 Tour stages.
To recap, the green jersey is awarded to the leader of the points classification. At the end of each stage the top 15 riders gain points depending on their finishing position; the higher the position the more points the rider gets. This competition is separate from the yellow jersey for the overall lead, but sprinters enter the Tour specifically to try and win the green jersey. For more information on the points competition and the Tour de France, check out Coral’s beginners guide to the Tour.
The Isle of Man’s Cavendish has already been briefly mentioned, and for good reason. He is one of the outstanding sprinters of his generation, many would say the best, being third in the list of all-time Tour stage wins and fourth for Grand Tour stage victories.
Despite this, Cavendish has only claimed one green jersey, as his sprinting style is better suited for stage wins rather than the consistency needed for overall points. He recently won the points jersey in the Tour of California, used a warm up race for the Tour, however, and is showing good form. He sits third in the odds with Coral at 5/1, but will be hungry for another green jersey and the points system benefits stage winners like Cavendish more this year.
Peter Sagan, though, is the favourite to take the points classification. The young Slovakian, aged only 25, is one of the current superstars of cycling. He won the green jersey is 2012, 2013, and 2014, and more recently triumphed in the Tour of California in May this year. His consistency is key to his green jersey victories, being able to repeatedly able to finish near the front even when he doesn’t win the stage. Befitting a rider of his standard, Sagan sits top of the odds at 5/6.
The third main player in the fight for the green jersey will be Norwegian Alexander Kristoff. He may have not yet won this prize, but he’s been in exceptional form over the past year-and-a-half. Kristoff claimed two stages of the 2014 Tour, the 2014 Milan-San Remo one-day race (previously won by Cavendish) and the 2015 Tour of Flanders (another one-day race). Kristoff is on top form and will be desperate for his first green jersey. He places second in the odds at 10/3.
For a more outside bet, consider John Degenkolb. The German normally rides in support of compatriot and sprinter Marcel Kittel, but the latter is out of the Tour due to poor form and illness. Freed from those duties, Degenkolb, who won the 2015 editions of the Milan-San Remo and the famous Paris-Roubaix, may pull off a shock and challenge for the points title. Coming into the race with excellent form, this dark horse sits at 10/1 in the odds.