Tour de France 2012 stage 2 preview

Gloves off for the sprinters

This article was originally published on Cyclingnews.com.

Distance: 207.5km

Highest point: 190m

Category: Flat

Already more than halfway towards Eddy Merckx’s record of 34 Tour stage victories, Mark Cavendish will have this stage very much in his sights. However, the list of challengers to the Briton’s sprint crown continues to grow. Also likely to feature are Tyler Farrar, André Greipel, Peter Sagan and new German star Marcel Kittel. The presence of Cavendish’s erstwhile lead-out men, Matt Goss and Mark Renshaw, also adds another intriguing edge. Cavendish has been a slow starter at recent Tours but should get plenty of motivation from his desire to keep his rivals in check.

André Greipel: "This is the first real opportunity for the sprinters. The finishing straight (on Boulevard Bara) is straight and wide which should make it easier to organise the lead-out trains and it will be interesting to see which teams have clicked."

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Video: Tour de France 2012 stage 2 preview by Chris Boardman

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