Team Columbia-Highroad not only won the team time trial at the Giro d'Italia, bettering their rivals Garmin-Slipstream in the process, but they finished with all nine riders together, including their sprinters. This is indicative of the good condition lead-out man Mark Renshaw has arrived with in Venice.
The Australian said while waiting for the other teams to complete the course, "It wasn't an objective to finish with nine but it means as a team we were going well. We've given it all. Two of our guys, [Morris] Possoni and Kosta [Kanstantsin Siutsou] missed some turns during the last 10 kilometres, but at the end they gave one last big turn that proved to be very good."
Teamwork is something Renshaw has been used to on the track as well. He felt at ease in Venice. "I was good. I died a little bit in the end. We rode at 60 or 61km/h on the way out and that's where we took the advantage on Garmin."
It was decided at the meeting that either Michael Rogers or Mark Cavendish,who are the two leaders of the team, would cross the line first. "I did a big turn of 1.5 kilometres near the end, after it wasn't even a question who would be first, I was done," the Australian said. "It's probably good for the spectacle of the Giro if it comes to a bunch sprint tomorrow and Cavendish is in pink," echoed Renshaw who is ready to take on his role as the Brit's last lead-out man following Gent-Wevelgem's winner Edvald Boasson Hagen.
"We've got enough horsepower I think," Renshaw said. The fast man from Bathurst, NSW, was picked by Team Columbia-Highroad for this job when his previous team Crédit Agricole folded last summer and he has done it well so far. Cavendish has been led out by Renshaw successfully five times this year already, twice at the Tour of California and the Three Days of de Panne and at Milano-Sanremo as well.
"We are looking for some sprint stages now," confirmed Rogers who is patient enough to wait for his turn to take over from Cavendish the leadership of the team.