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"It was partly because Phinney was ahead but also because of the high speed on the gently sloping road that the sprint was pretty chaotic. If the speeds are so high you need to start your run a little more from behind so that you can r...

Photo: Sirotti






31.07.2013 @ 20:13 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Mark Renshaw got close to Belkin's first victory yesterday and today he had what was likely to be his final chance in this year's Tour de Pologne. However, Taylor Phinney (BMC) denied the sprinters in a splendid solo effort and so a disappointed Renshaw had to settle for 20th.


There have been different opinions over the impact that the reduced 6-rider teams in the Tour de Pologne would have on the racing but today few will deny that the lack of manpower heavily influenced the race. Taylor Phinney attacked with 7km to go and the sprint teams failed to bring back the strong American.


One of the teams to come away empty-handed as a result was Belkin which had been intent on making up for Renshaw's narrow defeat yesterday. The team had used Stef Clement to chase early in the stage and when the break was caught and the tempo needed to be kept up, it was the Dutch team's Steven Kruijswijk and Luis-Leon Sanchez that led the chase. Wanting to save David Tanner and Robert Wagner for the lead-out, the team did, however, not have the strength to reel in Phinney.


Instead, Renshaw had to sprint for 2nd and despite a formidable performance by Tanner and Wagner, the Australian ended up sprinting too early in the tough uphill finish. He drifted backwards and had to settle for 20th.


"It was partly because Phinney was ahead but also because of the high speed on the gently sloping road that the sprint was pretty chaotic," Renshaw said. "If the speeds are so high you need to start your run a little more from behind so that you can really profit from the pace. In the heat of battle, however, it's difficult to think of everything."


"Stef Clement did a huge job today by controlling the breakaway. David Tanner and Robert Wagner did a good lead-out but unfortunately we lost sight of each other in the hustle of the last kilometre. After that I could not find the right wheel."


Renshaw is unlikely to get any more opportunities in this year's race which now heads back into the hills. Tomorrow's stage could be won by a strong sprinter but the route should be a little too tough for the fast Australian.


Starting at 16.55, you can follow the stage on



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