Renshaw aiming for Commonwealth Games

HTC-Columbia sprinter disappointed not to be at Worlds

Despite missing out on a place in the Australian Worlds team, Mark Renshaw is looking forward to taking part in the Commonwealth Games in October, where a pan-flat course could suit his skills as a sprinter perfectly.

Renshaw is currently competing in the Tour of Britain, where he and his HTC-Columbia teammates currently lead the overall standings and have picked up two stages.

“I’ll hopefully come out of here with better form than when I came in with and that will be a stepping stone to the Commonwealth Games,” Renshaw told Cyclingnews.

“I’ll head back to Australia for two weeks to prepare for them. They’re huge in Australia. For the ProTour teams it doesn’t mean much at all but it’s a good objective for me to finish the season on. After not getting selected for the Worlds it’s a good aim to have for the second part of the season. We’ve got a good team again and hopefully I’ll be a bit of a leader and try my hand.”

“It’s a great opportunity to win. Not that I want to prove anything or throw mud in peoples’ faces but it will be good to come out and get the win.”

Renshaw was one of several surprise Worlds omissions from what was a very strong Australian long-list. Along with Richie Porte and Robbie McEwen, he was one of the biggest names to miss out. While he accepts that the decision was tough for selectors, he still feels that he could have played a part in Geelong’s road race.

“There’s a bit of disappointment in not being picked. I would have loved to have ridden in the Worlds but at the same time the selectors have picked their riders, although a lot of people don’t agree with it,” he said.

“They believe the course is too difficult for sprinters but at the same time they’re taking Matt Goss and Allan Davis. I understand Goss because he’s had quite a good year but Davis? So far I’ve not seen him have a top season. He’s in the Vuelta and he’s saying he’s getting better and better so it will be interesting to see how he goes.”

With another flat course set for the Worlds next year in Denmark, Renshaw is already looking ahead to competing for his country there.

“Hopefully next year I can go and be the leader in Denmark and then the London Olympics. I think if I keen on improving in the way I have it’s a feasible goal”

Renshaw’s 2010 season was delayed by the onset of Epstein-Barr virus. He was unable to train until February, only returning to racing in April. Despite the setback he has had a strong season, winning a stage in the Tour of Denmark, as well as setting up Mark Cavendish for the majority of his season wins.

“Besides what happened in the Tour and the fact that I’m getting a little bit tired, I’m feeling good. But to come back from the virus I had last year, as strong or even stronger than before is a huge feat for me.”

Renshaw was disqualified from the Tour de France after the 11th stage, for what the race jury called unsportsmanlike conduct in the closing sprint.

Although the Commonwealth Games are on the horizon, Renshaw already has an eye on 2011, where he’ll continue to be Mark Cavendish’s lead support rider in the sprints.

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