Marcel Kittel (Quick-Step Floors) may have taken the green jersey after stage two of the Tour de France, but he thinks there is little chance of a pure sprinter like him taking it all the way to Paris unless woe befalls Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe).
Sagan has won the points classification on each of the previous five editions of the Tour, and is looking to add a sixth title that will draw him level with Erik Zabel’s record for green jersey wins.
Speaking after winning stage two of the Tour into Liège, which also gave him an early 25 point lead at the top of the points classification, Kittel said that as the system currently works there is little chance of him wearing green in Paris.
“When you look at the last five Tours de France, every time it’s Peter Sagan,” Kittel said, resplendent in green in the post-race press conference.
“There was always a sprinter who won four stages and did not even have a small chance of going for green. The only way you can win the jersey is if Peter Sagan gets sick or has to leave the race for another reason.
“Look at the last years and you have always had a very successful sprinter. Last year it was Mark Cavendish, the year before it was André Greipel, the year before that it was me, and none of us had any chance of going for the green jersey.”
Asked whether he thought a rule change was needed to give pure sprinters more of a chance of ending Sagan’s dominance, Kittel said that it was up to race organisers ASO to make the decisions.
“If you want to make it more in favour of those sort of riders then you probably have to change something, but in the end it’s the jersey of ASO.
“They are responsible for it, they have to decide which type of rider they want to see in it. At the moment it definitely favours an all-rounder and not a pure sprinter. That decision is not up to me and I cannot wish whatever I want. It is up to ASO to decide.”