Mark Cavendish leading the sprinting comeback kings

Manxman recaptures his form in France ahead of Tour of Britain

As John Degenkolb (Giant-Shimano) was sprinting to his second consecutive stage victory at the Vuelta a Espana, one man who might have been up against him was toasting his own double success.

Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-Quickstep), having sprinted into the Tour Poitou Charentes leader’s jersey on stage one, made it back-to-back victories on stage two.

Mark Cavendish, Omega Pharma-Quickstep, sprint, Tour PC, pic: Tim de Waele/OPQS
Mark Cavendish won the first two stages of the Tour Poitou Charentes (pic: Tim de Waele/OPQS)

The Manx Missile, riding just his second stage race since crashing out of the Tour de France on stage one in Harrogate, has ensured he is fast approaching prime form for the Tour of Britain with his form in France.

Having followed the two victories with third place on stage three, Cavendish has also offered a tantalising glimpse into what might have been at the Tour – his eagerly-awaited battle with Marcel Kittel not materialising.

Cav is not the only sprinter bouncing back after the Tour either – Degenkolb being another, with the German having helped set up Kittel’s four wins but being unable to secure a maiden victory for himself.

Elia Viviani, another sprinter to have been in good touch this season without showing at the Grand Tours – he was unable to grab a stage win for himself at the Giro, and could not set Peter Sagan up for one at the Tour either, has also returned to winning ways.

Nacer Bouhanni, too, has returned to winning ways after being omitted from FDJ.fr’s Tour de France squad.

All in all, August has been a month packed with resurgent performances from some of the WorldTour’s big-name fast men. We have rounded up some of the best over the following pages.

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John Degenkolb, Giant-Shimano, sprint, Vuelta a Espana, stage five, pic: Sirotti

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