Last year Peter Sagan won the green jersey at a canter.He scored 421 points,2nd was Andre Greipel with 280 points and 3rd Matt Harley Goss with 260 points.The points system is structured in a way that guarantees a sprinter wins,unlike the Giro and Vuelta.You get 45 points for winning a flat stage,30 points for a medium mountain stage,20 points for a high mountain stage,time-trial and intermediate sprint.
I think there are 5/6 stages that could end in a sprint with all the sprinters present.As we have Cavendish,Greipel,Goss,Kittel,Farrar,Kristoff,Bouhanni and Sagan I would imagine that these stages will be shared out amongst the sprinters.In the Giro Mark Cavendish won all the sprints,but he was competing against the 2nd division of sprinters and he isn’t here.
There are 6 stages that suit Sagan,as well as the flat stages.Sagan is capable of beating everyone in a flat out sprint,he beat Cavendish and Greipel in stage 3 of Tirreno-Adriatico this year.Even if he gets beaten he still finishes top 6 and accumulates points.In the stages suited to him most of the other sprinters collect zero points.Everyone that watched stage 3 of the Tour de Suisse knows that Sagan is now capable of winning stages with steep cat 1 climbs in them.Stage 9 of the tour has a cat 2 followed by 4 cat 1s.It is possible for Sagan to win this stage,which seems incredible.
Also in his favour is that he is targeting the green jersey while the sprinters are trying to win stages.Sagan is happy to go in breaks to win the intermediate sprint and I remember last year when Orica tried to set up Goss for an intermediate sprint and Sagan went past him as if Goss was a 10 year old!
Not all the stages that are flat or suited to Sagan will end that way,due to breaks and crashes.
After Cavendish’s Giro success there has been a lot of talk about him doing the double for the 1st time since the mighty Djamolidine Abdoujaparov.These people forget how special Peter Sagan is.This season he has won 2 stages in Oman,GP Camaiore,2 stages in Tirreno(1 flat and 1 brutal),Gent-Wevelgem,De Brabantse Pijl,2 stages in Calafornia,2 stages in Suisse and the Slovak Road Race.He finished 2nd at Strade Bianche,Milan-San Remo,E3 and the Tour des Flandres.He is a phenomenon,potentially the best rider since Merckx.
I think that Cav and the rest know they don’t stand a chance against Sagan in the battle for green and the winning margin will be larger this year.You can still get evens with Ladbrokes and Bet Victor for those I’ve managed to convince.