Alan Peiper and Team HTC-Columbia have a nice problem with two first class sprinters, but it's a problem nonetheless, writes Mike Tomalaris.
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7 Apr 2015 - 11:32 PM  UPDATED 13 Apr 2015 - 3:36 PM

What to do when you are a sporting director of one of the world's most
successful teams and you have to choose between two of the fastest
sprinters for selection at this year's Tour de France?

That's the dilemma facing Allan Peiper.

On
current form you'd think Andre Greipel would be the first man picked
but how does the German win selection ahead of Mark Cavendish - the
king of the Tour after the Manx rider cleaned up in most of ther
sprints in 2009?

I guess the simple answer is to pick both, but
that's never going to happen as there's never room for more than one
fastman in any team for a stage race.

It would be like picking two goalkeepers for the Socceroos starting XI.

Besides,
both Greipel and Cavendish possess two of the biggest egos in cycling -
not surprisingly as it's a personality trait a sprinter requires if
he's to be successful.

That being the case apart from calling
the shots on the road for HTC-Columbia, Peiper must act as a guardian
to both riders whose personalities are similar to kids in a playground.

Let it be known that neither Greipel nor Cavendish get on - never have and probably never will.

Scan
the recent record books and you'll find they have never raced together
as teammates so why should they be expected to line-up side-by-side in
France this July?

The only time we'll get to see both on the
road at the same time will be in Geelong for the UCI world
championships - Greipel will represent Germany while Cavendish will be
in the colours of Great Britain.

What a shodown that'll be!

It
seems Greipel is destined to leave HTC-Columbia once his contract
expires, or if Cavendish is struck by injury and withdraws, if he's to
appear in the Tour de France.

It's a shame we won't be given the
chance to see them together in France this year, but that's probably a
luxury HTC-Columbia could probably do without.