Marcel Kittel dominated the sprints at the 2014 Tour de France, but will he be challenged by Mark Cavendish next year?
Cavendish, who has won 25 stages of the Tour de France, crashed out at the end of stage one this year as he attempted to sprint for the finish line.
Kittel ended up winning the first stage but it has to be said that from the position Cavendish was in, Kittel was always going to win the stage. The Brit was too far back and that is why he had to take more risks at the end, which unfortunately ended with him on the floor.
Kittel went on to win four stages at the Tour de France, adding to his four stage wins last year. He has now won on the Champs-Elysees for the last two years.
The German out-sprinted Cavendish into Paris in 2013 and I think if the two are to race against each other next year Kittel will come out on top.
I believe Kittel is faster than the Manxman but with the right lead out train I think Cavendish would have enough to beat Kittel.
Classic 2015 battle?
I would love to see them racing each other in the 2015 Tour de France as this year I felt there was something missing from the sprint finishes. Cavendish is the only rider who can really challenge Kittel and without him many of the sprints weren't that exciting to watch.
Although I think the Giant-Shimano rider is a bit quicker, Cavendish has more experience and it would be very close between the two in a sprint finish.
One thing Cavendish has done that Kittel hasn't is winning the green jersey points classification. The 29-year-old is a better all-round sprinter because he can handle the mountain stages better than some of the other sprinters, including Kittel.
Green jersey fight
Kittel seems to only go for stage wins when sometimes it is better to win the intermediate sprints so you can get more points.
A good example of this is Peter Sagan. The Slovakian has won the green jersey for the last three years because he is always the most consistent sprinter. He didn't even win a stage this year but he still picked up the sprinters jersey.
Overall I believe that if Cavendish and Kittel race each other next year it will be extremely close and it could come down to who has the best lead out train. However, Kittel is hard to stop once he is in front.
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