Mark Cavendish’s key lead-out man, Mark Renshaw, has signed a two-year deal that will see him spearhead Rabobank’s bid for sprint success, the Dutch outfit confirmed Thursday. The Australian has spent the past three years riding with the HTC-Highroad team, which is set to fold at the end of the season, and helping Isle of Man teammate Cavendish rack up an impressive 20 stage wins on the Tour de France. He was expected to continue that role and join Cavendish in his soon-to-be-announced new team, with Team Sky and nascent Australian outfit GreenEdge reportedly among the favorites to capture the Tour de France star.
However Rabobank team manager Erik Breukink confirmed at the Eneco Tour here Thursday the 28-year-old has opted to pursue personal glory with Rabobank one of the biggest and most secure teams in the peloton.
“He has huge experience in helping to prepare the sprints for Cavendish, but in this team he will get to win for himself,” said Breukink, whose main sprinter, Oscar Freire, is heading steadily towards retirement.
It means Renshaw and Cavendish could become direct rivals next season, allowing the Australian to bolster a measly tally of only seven career victories. Earlier this season he won a stage and the overall classification at the Tour of Qatar.