Wednesday, 13 July 2011

#TDF Stage 11 Sprinters want points

The Pyrenées loom large on the horizon and this is basically one of only three stages left that the pure sprinters are expecting to take line honours on. So this is a stage that you can expect the teams with sprinters to want to bring it all together at the end.

Unlike yesterday there is no climb near the end which can take a bit of a kick out of the sprinters. However, there have been attempts to get away and stay away in recent days. Philippe Gilbert's attack yesterday, then David Millar's counter attack were moves that might have worked were it not for the control of HTC Highroad and them not panicking. They ended up bringing Cavendish to the front where he had to be before the sharp bends in the finish.

Today there is a relatively straight and level finish. If any team is going to take the stage off Cavendish they may have to do what Griepel did yesterday and time the sprint right; he didn't get it right on stage 7. Cav yesterday was saying that he didn't kick hard enough in the initial sprint, maybe he is learning that his former team mate has a turn of speed that he needs to pre-empt. I suspect that HTC are going to be taking Cav to the front with a full train as we enter Lavaur. Cav will be hungry for the last win he can get before Montpellier, then Paris. There will be a couple of sprints he can contend between times but this is his chance for a full 45 points.

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