While spectators and prognosticators pay attention to this Tour's epic climbs that will likely determine the GC winner, another battle is not so quietly taking place for the fastest man on pavement.
Last year's Sagan-proofing of the points classification, which awarded more points to a stage winner, had little effect on the race's outcome, as Peter Sagan still wore green to Paris.
Will Sagan ride his way to a fifth straight green jersey? Or will one of his many rivals put an end to one of modern cycling's greatest runs?
Here are the top four contenders to watch as they race for green jersey glory.
Peter Sagan1 of 5
Last year's rule change, which awarded more points to stage winners—something they called Sagan-proofing—had little effect on the Slovak rider, and we think this year will be much of the same. Though the four-time green jersey winner has only four stage wins to his name (and none in the last two years), he's still the odds-on favorite to ride into Paris wearing green. And, if his does so, he'll be one green jersey short of matching Erik Zabel's amazing feat of six green jerseys in a row.
Andre GreipelOmega Pharma-Lotto 2 of 5
It wouldn't surprise a soul to see the large German who many lovingly refer as the Gorilla ride into Paris adorned in Green. Greipel, who took four stages in last year's Tour, looked nearly unbeatable at last month's Giro d'Italia, amassing three stage wins before bowing out after stage 12. If he can survive the climbs, the points classification could be his to lose.
Mark Cavendish3 of 5
It was thought that no one would benefit from last year's rule change more than Mark Cavendish, yet the rider from the Isle of Man took only one stage win, a disappointing turn for a man with 26 stage wins to his name. Now on a different team, Dimension Data will be seeking multiple stage wins, hoping to get Cavendish closer to Eddy Merckx's record of 34.
Marcel Kittel4 of 5
After missing last year's Tour due to illness, Marcel Kittel looks to take advantage of the fastest lead-out train in the business and capture plenty of stage victories at this year's Tour. However, the punchy uphill finishes sprinkled among many of the sprinter's stages could prove problematic for the German.