There are 2 categories of sprinters:
The one who needs a team to pilot them to the end of the race in the last 20\30km and the one who prefer to follow organized team and “swim” between team to team to stay or follow the “right wheel”.
Cipollini needed a team to pilot all the way to 300\400mt at incredible speed, then he could increase the speed with the sprint and win.
Cavendish started his career by following other team “train” and win by his explosive sprint and great courage to stay on the right wheel at incredible speed and challenge other rider who wanted same position in the peloton.
Then his team decide that it will be even more effective for him to have a “train” to pilot his sprint, then he became what we know, almost impossible to beat him and became one of the greatest sprinter of all times.
At the begin of my career, fresh from amateur and prolific sprinter in that category, I’ve try to get involved in sprints but very soon I realized the difference above, without a team train I only had the choice of get in the main part of the peloton at the right time and challenge the right wheel. Sometimes I did it and get top five places, but to win was for me almost impossible, my qualities were not good enough to jump and stay in the front at 70km\h. The risk was also great and decide later to avoid main bunch sprints and concetrate on team work and harder racing.