people underestimate Cavendish' ability in the last 3 kms to find his own way.
Hincapie was impressive, but that did not mean if Cav was caught solo in a messy finish, he would not have pumped them in the finish. He is about 5 lengths quicker over the last 300 metres if he goes head to head with everyone if their nose is in the wind. Only a few guys like Ciolek at his fastest, and Chicchi can hold a candle, but they cannot sprint long. Actually, the biggest threat would be Greipel. I also think Haussler was on the top line of speed merchants, and faster than Hushovd by a fair way.
Think it was Driedaagse de Panne in 2007, Cavendish managed to get through a fair whack of traffic and win. In his first win in the pros at Schelde he basically did it himself coming from behind, yeah, B Eisel did sort of take him up the outside.
If you want an example Cav is about the most canny sprinter since Mcewen you need to look at the San Remo finale. It was too good. The best sprint win ever imo, and Mcewen has had some rippers, like stage 1 in 2007 in London.
When Hincapie aint at the Giro, Cav wins. Cav will win no matters
Martin could do that job, but Martin and Rogers will probably be their GC mens. Rogers is the forgotten man, he was tenth in 2006, and how quick people forget, guy has more GC class than Wiggins, is a better climber, and is a better tter, ofcourse, he was benefiting from Freiburg "oil change" but so was Wiggo somewhere this Tour.
Cav has enough help. Roulston was solid for Hushovd, no Hincapie, but solid. Renshaw is overrated, you get alot of Australian fanbois that don't have much clue. He was second, what, in a reducted 200km Hamburg last year to Mcewen. Won Tro Bro Leon, blah! He sucked in the points race in Athens, the track set-up did not want him after he rode a defensive race and was on his heels, and then whined about missing the madison. He has won only one decent race attacking with Tro Bro, and had one decent leadout for Hushovd.
Reminds me a little of Julian Dean. For one leadout for Hushovd at the Tour that puts him in position to sprint for the win, they forget about all the times he has screwed up. He fell on about 50% of bunch kicks between 2005 and 2007. You have to go and count em, in the GTs. I worked out, the guy hit the tarmac, on about half the occasions in the finale. OK, most times were when he pulled off, but do you really want your finale pilot to be a crash bandit, does it instill confidence? No way, dont need a crash test dummie.
Renshaw, Rolly, Goss, Greipel, Seiberg, Eisel, will do the job just fine. Goss will be better than Renshaw imo. Greipel potentially the best man in the group, and I think he would be better served to be put in the train about 3rd man from the end. I would like it to be Greipel to swing off to Renshaw to swing off to Goss. Cos Goss would be the best pilot if things got screwed in a messy finish, and Greipel has the strength of Hincapie to make sure Columbia are way out in front from 700 to go, and will not be swamped. There is no one who really replaces Hincapie for that kind of strength to determine victories from 1km to go. Ofcourse, only Cav can make it certain and finish it off from 1km to go if Columbia have the ascendancy.
Greipel is replacable as the final guy, and so is Renshaw. So even tho Renshaw had the last man leadout this year, I would switch over to Goss, and have Renshaw sit in, in the train.
Bob Stapleton vastly overrated. Got the arrogant American thing going for him too.