Green jersey at stake in Sunday`s final stage

Paris: The Tour de France winner may have been effectively decided but the green jersey for the best sprinter in the race will be at stake in the final 102.5-km stage to Paris later on Sunday.

Briton Mark Cavendish has already won four stages this year and a repeat of his victory on the Champs-Elysees in 2009 would take his tally to 15 wins in three appearances in the event.

The green jersey was his main goal at the start of the Tour but he relinquished important points in the early stages, notably two won by Alessandro Petacchi.

Petacchi now holds a 16-point advantage over the Briton and only needs to finish in the top six on Sunday to become the first Italian since Franco Bitossi in 1968 to claim the green jersey.

Thor Hushovd of Norway said he did not have the finishing speed of his two rivals and was out of contention despite being sandwiched inbetween the pair in second position.

Cavendish said: "I`ve got to try to win on the Champs-Elysees regardless of the green jersey situation."

As for Alberto Contador, the Spaniard has only to avoid a crash or a mechanical failure to cross the line safely and win the Tour for the third time in his career.

Bureau Report