The latest news of Greg Henderson moving over to Lotto in the next season has raised a possible worry of sprint chaos in the future. Due to the disbandment of HTC-Highroad, their formidable domination on the sprint stages will come to an end. One of their main man, Matty Goss has decided to join the prospective Aussie Pro Tour team GreenEdge Cycling and Cav’s leadout man, Mark Renshaw has moved on to pursue his own sprint ambitions with Rabobank. Over this season we have also witnessed the rise of young guns like Peter Sagan, John Degenkolb and Marcel Kittel who are not too shabby themselves when going for a fast finish. Now if the rumor is to believed – which is definitely true – Mark Cavendish will join Team Sky next season. These combined transfers and permutations throw up the possibility of fierce sprint finishes in all most all the big races on World Tour calendar. The roads are always wide on the sprinter stages but I hope the organizers are proactive in the future to make a note of the new order. Wider, well laid roads and proper markers (note Vuelta organizers) should be there to ensure that sprinters are safe.
The possible pairs who will battle it out there:
1. Lotto – Andre Greipel/Greg Henderson
2. Sky – Mark Cavendish/Geraint Thomas/Ben Swift
3. Rabobank -Mark Renshaw/Theo Bos/Michael Matthews
4. GreenEdge – Matthew Goss/Leigh Howard
5. Garmin Cervelo – Tyler Farrar/Julian Dean
6. Liquigas – Peter Sagan/Daniel Oss
7. Skil-Shimano – Marcel Kittel/John Degenkolb
One of the things which could reduce the competition in the field is the licence situation of Lotto, GreenEdge which is still unclear and the team category of Skil-Shimano. Also I would like to see where does Rolf Aldag and Erik Zabel land up because their work has been a key factor in the success of HTC-Highroad’s sprint finishes. Although, I’m quite sad about the demise of my favorite team, Highroad, but also delighted by the fact that it has open a world of possibilities for different sprinters. I’m sure Cav too will not mind some decent competition.