Mark Cavendish and Tyler Farrar should be back at the head of the Tour de France sprints soon, perhaps even in today’s stage five to Montargis.
“He still has a lot of chances, it is only stage five,” team Garmin-Transitions’ Farrar said of his rival. “There is plenty of time for all of us to make amends for our poor start.”
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Cavendish came up empty handed in yesterday’s sprint finish to Reims. HTC-Columbia led out for their leader, but he was left on his own from too far out and was unable to stop Alessandro Petacchi (Lampre-Farnese Vini) from taking the win.
Farrar left it up to his team-mates Julian Dean and Robbie Hunter to contest the sprint. Dean took second and Farrar finished much back, still nursing a fractured bone near his left wrist.
He fractured it in stage three to Spa, but forced himself to continue the following day over the cobblestons to Arenberg.
“I hope,” said Farrar, “that I can have my chance today or tomorrow.”
If Farrar feels strong enough to put his full force on his wrist and Cavendish perfects his lead-out train then fans should see two of the most talented, young sprinters fighting for the win in Montargis.
Cavendish, though, may lack a certain amount of confidence after missing out twice, in both Reims and Brussels.
“Last year, he had a lot of momentum that he built throughout the season, but this year, he hasn’t got the spiral to go back up,” said Garmin team manager, Jonathan Vaughters.
“Mark Cavendish is an incredibly talented sprinter. There will come a day where he starts to win again, maybe today or maybe in the Vuelta. His talent hasn’t gone away.”
Cavendish’s talent shined brightly last year when won six stages. This year, his main goal was the green sprinters jersey, but he currently trails by 65 points to Thor Hushovd.
As Vaughters said, Cavendish may come on form for the Vuelta a España. If so, he will have timed his form perfectly for the World championships, two weeks after the Vuelta a España.
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