Is Tim Merlier the best sprinter in the world right now?

Stage win at the Giro, the Tour, now Benelux Tour, a total of eight wins for the season … he’s gotta be in the conversation now right?

He cant call himself a rookie anymore hahaha. Such a remarkable modest guy btw

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what about Fabio Jackobsen?

Yep, he’s been great, and what a comeback story too!

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Bit of a transitional time, for sure Merlier is in the conversation.

On the way up still: Jacobsen, Merlier, Philipsen, Ewen, Gronewegen.
On the way down: Demare, Viviani, Sagan, Bennett, Bouhanni, Colbrelli, Ackermann, Matthews.

In their own class: Cav, Wout, MVDP

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He does but it’s now such a crowded field. In a pure bunch sprint I still think a fully fit Bennett beats him: green jersey, wins at all three grand tours. He’s only 30 too so he’s got a few years left…. Groenewegen will be a lot stronger next year too. Cavendish will be another year older and Jakobsen looks very good at the Vuelta and perhaps DQS first choice sprinter… Caleb Ewan is always super fast. For the sprinters the issue is WvA and MvDP who can both sprint or go from a long way out which completely changes the complexion of the sprint stages because nobody knows what they’ll do.

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Hard to put Bennett in the “way down” list, he has 7 wins for the year, and finished his season in June. Colbrelli’s also just had one of his best years.

Bennett’s a tricky one. He hasn’t raced since Don Patrick slammed him publicly and sprinters who’ve left Quickstep have universally tanked. Colbrelli has had a super season (like many of his teammates from the Milan Erzan led BV*) but the trend line is not favourable. *raided by 50 police at TDF, we will see if anything eventuates.

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He’s leaving Quickstep, most sprinters aren’t as successful when they leave Quickstep so fair to put him on the way down list.
Look at Gavaria, Cav (1st time round), Kittel, Viviani…

Really you think that? He had no competition in the tour and when Wout decided he wanted to sprint at the Champs he won it! No Cav is just as good as Merlier, Ewan, Jakobsen and Dylan, not own class!

Yes I do think that. The competition is the competition and he put in one of the most dominant displays at the Tour in the last few years. If he stays with QS he will win a bunch more stages next year.

Think the complete lack of credible competition at the Tour is very overlooked in favour of the romantic comeback story…. Undoubtedly the best sprinter of all time, but he had no competition at the tour as well as a very strong team who went all in for him

Cav kept winning at DiData. Kittel was on the way down before leaving QS. And Bennett was matching the QS version of Bouhanni, while riding for Bora. Put another way, Bennett is one rider I can see actually keeping up his success after leaving Quickstep.

I would like to see Bennett succeed, but his well documented (including by himself) mental fragility, coupled with his very sour separation from Bora last time with Ralph Denk essentially calling him a contract breaker, does not give much confidence that he’ll buck the post QS downward trend. Gaviria, Viviani, Terpstra, Gilbert, Kittel, Devolder, Pozzato, VDB, Bartoli to name but a few, the history speaks for itself.