In a move that will suit the pure sprinters like Mark Cavendish and Marcel Kittel, whilst potentially upsetting the dominance of Peter Sagan, ASO has overhauled the Tour de France’s green jersey points system.
From next year they will award more points for the winner of flat stages and reduce the amount awarded to the second and third placed riders.
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Thierry Gouvenou, Tour de France course director, confirmed the changes at the presentation in Paris on October 22: “When we are almost certain that the stage will end in a sprint, we will add a little bonus to first place.” There are nine flat stages in the 2015 race.
“Previously we’ve had 45, 35 and 30 points for the top three positions respectively. Now we will award 50, 30 and 20 points. The person who wins the stage will have a bigger advantage over the others, and it’s something which brings the pure sprinters back into the frame for the green jersey.”
This is good news for the big name sprinters, in particular Cavendish, who won six stages of the 2009 Tour only to see Thor Hushovd wrap up the green jersey by taking the intermediate sprint on a long lone breakaway on a hilly stage.
Marcel Kittel meanwhile has dominated the sprints for the last two years but has not been able to challenge Peter Sagan for the green jersey.
Sagan has been a clear winner of the green jersey for the last three editions of the race. His turn of speed sees him regularly finish in the top three on the flat stages while his ability to get over the hills means he scores points on the stages that see his faster rivals dropped before the finish.
The change also raises the chances of the jersey being decided on the final day with the traditional sprint on the Champs-Élysées, making for an even more dramatic ending to the 102nd Grande Boucle.
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