The first yellow jersey of the 2014 Tour de France may be the immediate focus of the WorldTour’s best fast men in Harrogate, but the battle for the maillot vert looks set to be just as tense a battle.
Peter Sagan (Cannondale), the two-time defending champion, starts as favourite to make it a hat-trick, but former winner Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-Quickstep) has strong backing in his bid to reclaim the prized jersey.
And the two will also face stiff competition from Germans Andre Greipel (Lotto-Belisol) and Giant-Shimano duo Marcel Kittel and John Degenkolb, alongside the other perennial sprint contenders like Arnaud Demare (FDJ.fr) and Milan-San Remo winner Alexander Kristoff (Katusha).
But will anybody be able to stop Sagan and the Green Machine from storming to another comprehensive success, as he did 12 months ago, with a tough, undulating course awaiting?
We have taken a closer look at the chief contenders over the following pages.