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"After a good Tour de France, it would have been nice to take the first stage win for Belkin. I'm happy to be on the podium but on the other hand it is disappointing to miss out on a victory," Renshaw says

Photo: Sirotti






30.07.2013 @ 23:12 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Mark Renshaw came tantalizingly close to the Belkin team's first ever win in today's 3rd stage of the Tour of Poland but in the end the fast Australian had to settle for 2nd behind Thor Hushovd (BMC). Having had a troubled season so far, the Australian would have loved to be the rider to get his team off the ground.


Belkin had a very successful Tour de France but the Dutch team never managed to take a win and so the team still hasn't won a race since the new sponsor took over and the Blanco squad was renamed. Today Mark Renshaw got very close but was narrowly beaten into second by a very strong Thor Hushovd.


The team took control inside the final kilometre with David Tanner and Robert Wagner giving their Australian sprinter a good lead-out. However, Hushovd was always well-placed in his wheel and had the power to come around before the line.


"At 300 to 400 metres from the line, I was already in second position and had to start my sprint very early," Renshaw explained. "Normally, I like it that way but with the headwind and Thor Hushovd behind me, I couldn't hold on."


"After a good Tour de France, it would have been nice to take the first stage win for Belkin," he added. "I'm happy to be on the podium but on the other hand it is disappointing to miss out on a victory."


Mark Renshaw crashed hard in the second stage of the Tour of Turkey and while he managed to come back before the Tour de France, his lack of fitness didn't allow him to race in France. A win today would have been a needed confidence boost after what has been a tough season so far.


"I've had some bad luck this year and with a stage win, I could've closed that chapter," Renshaw said.


As part of UCI experiment, teams in Poland only consist of 6 riders and that has influenced the racing. On Sunday, the breakaway managed to stay away and today 4 riders almost denied the sprinters their chance.


Sports director Erik Dekker explained that the Belkin team could not allow itself to use more than one rider for the chase work.


"That's everything to do with teams of just six riders," he said. "Like many of the other sprint teams, we only had one man to close the gap and that was Stef Clement. David Tanner and Robert Wagner stayed back to lead out while Steven Kruijswijk and Luis León Sánchez are well-positioned in the GC."


Renshaw will get another opportunity in tomorrow's fourth stage which should be another one for the pure sprinters. Starting at 15.00 you can follow the action on



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