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“I’m excited to be going back to the role of leading out, of working with Cavendish again and also improving the train on Omega Pharma Quick Step, Renshaw tells Cyclingnews

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MARK RENSHAW

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30.11.2013 @ 11:53 Posted by Joseph Doherty

Australian Mark Renshaw, who has become known as the “best lead-out man in the professional peloton”, will sign for Omega Pharma Quick Step in 2014 and will once again be reunited with Mark Cavendish, who he rode for at the highly successful HTC-Highroad squad for three years. He helped Cavendish to win 20 stages over their three year period together as well as one Green Jersey and the 2009 edition of Milan-Sanremo. Renshaw, who has spent the last two years of his career at Belkin working solely for himself in the sprints, told Cyclingnews “I’m excited to be going back to the role of leading out, of working with Cavendish again and also improving the train  on Omega Pharma Quick Step”.

 

His 2013 results have been good and he enjoyed victory in both the Clásica de Almería and stage 1 of the Eneco Tour, the latter of which he won, by surprising the bunch by going for a long sprint from 750m out and holding of the charging peloton to take the leaders jersey. However, he has acknowledged that his best role is as a leadout man and not a sprinter “I spent a little bit of time debating what to do and what avenue to take. I think ultimately I‘m better at leading out than I am at sprinting for myself and deep down I understood that.”

 

However, Renshaw has no regrets about not following Cav to Team Sky, saying “I just didn’t want to end my career without having a go and saying that I still think I can win big races but I’m just more suited to a long powerful sprint than a short explosive sprint.”

 

There were times throughout his Belkin career where he was forced to work for the team’s Dutch sprinter Theo Bos and, while Renshaw admits that he can see why they worked for Bos, being a Dutch sprinter on a Dutch team, he didn’t join Belkin to lead another sprinter out and took the decision not to renew his contract for 2014.

 

Renshaw will rejoin Cavendish, who took his lowest tally of Tour de France stages this year since 2007 with only two stage victories, who is still hungry for success as shown by his five stage victories and points jersey in the Giro d’Italia and Renshaw believes Cavendish can win the Tour’s Green Jersey again: “I honestly think he can win the green jersey again. There are a lot more top sprinters now with Kittel, Greipel and young guys like Demare but I don’t see any reason why Cavendish can’t win green. I still think he’s the quickest. His size, his ability to accelerate when everyone is already on the limit means he’s still got the title as the fastest. We saw at the Tour that there are some really strong guys there as well.”

 

Due to the change in the points format and the emergence of “The Tourminator” Peter Sagan, winning the Green Jersey will prove to be a difficult task, possibly the most difficult of Cavendish’s career. But with Renshaw, the best lead-out man in the world on your team, anything is possible.

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