By Paul Verkuylen in Adelaide, Australia
Australian Mark Renshaw, who hails from Bathurst in NSW, has claimed the first ProTour stage to be held outside of Europe which was also his first victory in a ProTour event. To make it all the more special for Renshaw, family and friends were there at the finish of stage one of the 2008 Tour Down Under to witness his historic feat.
"Dad was here with my sister and girlfriend, so yeah it's great to win in front of them; it drives me along," Renshaw said. "This is really a stepping stone, my director [Serge Beucherie] sat me down at the start of the week and said 'this year has to be the year that you step up.
"I have finally stepped up to the mark on the ProTour. It has been a few years, but it has definitely paid off," Renshaw concluded.
Although Renshaw is effectively leading the ProTour after receiving three points for his win today, he will not wear the leader's jersey as the UCI does not award the jersey mid-way through a race, opting to wait until the final classification is decided. The overall winner of the Tour Down Under will receive 50 points.
Interestingly, riders not part of a ProTour team are not eligible to gain points in the competition, meaning that if any rider from the UniSA team wins a stage or places in the points overall, those points will be forfeited and therefore will not be awarded to the next rider on classification. If, for instance, a UniSA rider were to win the overall, the first ProTour rider on classification will be awarded the points for his actual place on GC, not his effective place with the non-ProTour rider removed.