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

Tour de France 2010: Pictures

Tour team presentation, Rotterdam

Tour teams take to the cobbles: Photo special


  • William M. Danjon Dieudonné

    You know, the decision against Mark Renshaw was very bad. He used his head to be able to stay upright. Mark hasnt done one thing wrong during his cycling carrer, I really believe and think the judge need to seriously reconsider looking at the replay, because Renshaw was defending his line and whilst pedaling a bike at 70kmh, it’s impossible to generate any serious lateral force that might be injurious, and rubbed out of the Tour for that? It’s absolutely ridiculous.
    To-day…no one else, on the team, had the same turn of high-end speed to keep Mark Cavendish at the front ahead of his rivals in the final metres.One more time has Cavendish shown he can easily win, Bravo Champion…W:M:D.D, Friday, 23.07.2010

  • Adam

    If Thor crashed now – with25km to go – would the peleton be expected to wait? It would echo the Schleck/Contador in Yellow issue. Basically, if Thor had a mechanical or crash now and didn’t get back to the peleton, he’d lose the Green Jersey….