Cavendish faces Tour test without Renshaw
Mark Cavendish, Tour de France 2010 stage 1
Mark Cavendish's title of sprint king will be on test today in Bordeaux, France - home of the country's famous wines and Tour de France's greatest sprint wins.
He will need to be crafty, though, to add his name to the city's list of sprint winners with a diminished HTC-Columbia lead-out train.
After a hard start to the race, he has proved he is back up to his best with three wins so far. However, win number three in Bourg-lès-Valence saw the disqualification of Australian Mark Renshaw for head-butting.
"I don't think that Cavendish can't win without Renshaw," HTC's sports director, Allan Peiper explained. "Though, we'll see about that."
Cavendish has already shown he can win with a weakened train. He lost Australian Adam Hansen to a crash and fractured sternum and rib in stage one to Brussels.
Renshaw, though, was Cavendish's final lead out man, usually dropping Cavendish off with 200 meters to the finish line. No one else on the team has the same turn of high-end speed to keep Cavendish at the front, ahead of his rivals in the final metres.
Mick Rogers and Maxime Monfort will start the early phase of the train in today 198-kilometre stage. In the final four to two kilometres, Tony Martin and then Bernhard Eisel will take their turn at the front. However, once they are done, Cavendish wil likely have to base his sprint a rival.
His top rivals are Thor Hushovd and Alessandro Petacchi, both who are battling for the green sprinters jersey. Hushovd leads the competition with four points over Petacchi and 29 on Cavendish. If he survives on a weakened train to become one of Bordeaux's men today and wins again Sunday in Paris then he may also take the final green jersey.
Tour de France 2010: Latest news
Schleck behind after Tourmalet duel but refuses to give up
Hesjedal leaps up classification with Tour's Tourmalet ride
Sky pushes ahead regardless of Wiggins placing
Armstrong has his last go in the Tour
Tour's points leader Petacchi investigated for doping
Contador issues video apology to Schleck
Millar searches horizon for Eiffel Tower
Schleck-Contador friendship turns sour after chain problem
Wiggins at 2010 Tour: "I haven't got it"
Basso wins Tour's acceptance; podium spot next goal
Contador versus Schleck: A game of seconds
Can Cav win without Renshaw?
Hesjedal pushing his way to the Tour's top
Renshaw disqualification overshadows Cavendish's win
Charly Wegelius pulls out of Tour
Did Armstrong own a stake in Tailwind Sports, or not?
Cavendish in a 'must win' situation for Tour's green jersey
Millar rides through pain barrier to make time cut
Roche alongside Tour's top men ahead of Pyrenees
Wiggins to aim for Tour de France stage win?
Dan Lloyd battles on in Tour despite groin strain
Tour de France 2010: Stage reports
Stage 17: Schleck wins on the Tourmalet but cannot shake off Contador
Rest day review (July 21)
Stage 16: Fedrigo takes tough Pyrenean stage
Stage 15: Victorious Voeckler continues fine Franch Tour as Contador takes yellow jersey
Stage 14: Riblon hangs on in Pyrenees to give France fourth stage win
Stage 13: Vino returns to top of Tour after doping ban
Stage 12: Rodriguez wins as Contador attacks
Stage 11: Cavendish bags third stage win but lead out man kicked out of Tour
Stage 10: Cavendish bags third stage win but his lead-out man is kicked out of race
Stage 10: Paulinho claims narrow stage victory on Bastille day
Stage nine: Casar wins stage as Schleck and Contador go head-to-head
Stage seven: Chavanel wins stage and takes overall as Thomas drops out of Tour's white
Stage six: Cavendish makes it two as Tour hots up
Stage five: Cavendish wins his first stage of Tour
Stage four: Petacchi wins into Reims
Stage three: Hushovd takes dramatic win; Thomas second on stage and GC
Stage three live coverage: As it happened
Stage two: Comeback man Chavanel takes victory in Spa
Stage one: Petacchi wins in Brussels as bunch left in tatters
Prologue: Cancellara pips Martin to win
Tour de France 2010: Photos
Stage 15 photo gallery
Stage 14 photo gallery
Stage 13 photo gallery
Stage 12 photo gallery
Stage 11 photo gallery
Stage 10 photo gallery
Stage nine photo gallery
Stage eight photo gallery
Tour 2010 wallpaper
Stage seven photo gallery
Stage six photo gallery
Stage five photo gallery
Stage four photo gallery
Stage three photo gallery
Stage two photo gallery
Stage one gallery
Prologue photo gallery
Tour de France 2010: Videos
Stage 16 video highlights
Stage 15 video highlights
Stage 14 video highlights
Stage 13 video highlights
Stage 12 video highlights
Stage 11 video highlights
Stage 10 video highlights
Stage nine video highlights
Stage eight video highlights
Stage seven video highlights
Stage six video highlights
Stage five video highlights
Stage four video highlights
Stage three video highlights
Stage two video highlights
Stage one video highlights
Prologue video highlights
Tour de France 2010: Race guide
Tour de France 2010: Cycling Weekly's coverage index
Official start list, with race numbers
Brits at the Tour 2010
Tout team guide
Tour jerseys: What they are and what they mean
Brits in the Tours: From Robinson to Wiggins