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Who’s the fastest sprinter?

Thor Hushovd

Who was the fastest sprinter in this year’s TdF, Cavendish who won six stages, or Hushovd who captured the second green jersey of his career.

In 1999, Erik Zabel won the green jersey points competition, but he didn’t win a single stage. (

“I won this jersey because I’m more experienced. I know how to win it,” Hushovd said. “I’ve done it before and I’ve fought for the jersey many, many years. Cavendish is the fastest sprinter, but I am the most consistent, and that’s why I won the jersey.”

The interesting thing about the green jersey competition is that it’s the only jersey competition contested by riders who are not going to be high up in the overall classification.

The fact the green jersey point contenders are not able to ride at the front of the peloton during a significant number of stages within the race makes the competition more difficult to win. To win, the rider has to carefully pick the places where he’s going to apply his best efforts. The obvious places are the handful of stages well-suited to sprint finishes. Cavendish certainly capitalized on those, crossing the finish line first on six occasions, including Champs-Elysées . With 35 points for winning a stage, his victories alone earned him 210 points. For Hushovd to win the green jersey despite Cavendish taking maximum points on six individual stages is incredible.

CavendishThere’s little doubt that Cavendish is the fastest sprinter on two wheels.

Hushovd won the points competition by a mere of 10 points. It is often said that the green jersey is won by the most consistent rider in the Tour de France, but this year I don’t know if that is true. For consistency, you have to look to Cavendish, who won a quarter of the stages in the whole race. Hushovd’s path to the green jersey had more in common with Alberto Contador’s path to yellow: He kept his rivals close at all times, and found a few key places where he could turn big efforts into maximum gains.

“It’s very emotional to stand on the podium and receive this jersey. I’m proud of what I’ve done,” he said. “It was a hard battle to get more points than Cavendish, but that’s what I’ve done in the end. His big goal was to win the green jersey and I know he’s going to get many of them in the future, but I am going to give him a big fight in the next few years.”

Thor will be going back to Norway this week to relax, celebrate with family, friends and do a few criterium races in his home country.