Renshaw and Brown included in Bos' Blanco sprint train
The one-day Ronde van Zeeland Seaports will be Mark Renshaw's first day of competition since breaking his collarbone on Stage 2 at the Presidential Tour of Turkey. The lead-out man turned sprinter will make his return to racing this weekend alongside Blanco sprint captain Theo Bos and last year's second-place finisher Lars Boom for the 200km race in Holland.
Renshaw was at the head of the bunch coming into the finale of the 153km stage before a loss of concentration and subsequent touch of wheels brought him down in what he called the worst of his career. The former lead-out man for Mark Cavendish broke his collarbone which required surgery while also sustaining a concussion and a broken tooth.
"That's the biggest crash I've ever had. You pay dearly for errors at this speed," Renshaw had said on Twitter.
Race organisers announced the Australian's inclusion for the race that includes 14 cobbled sections with last year's winning squad MTN-Qhubeka to be lead by Milan-Sano Remo winner Gerald Ciolek. The 2012 victor Janse Van Rensburg, now riding for Argos-Shimano has not been included in the eight-man team.
For Renshaw however, his participation in the race will play a crucial part in his comeback after more than five weeks since he last pinned on a number. The 30-year-old has already won once this season at the one-day Clasica de Almeria along with a couple of podium placings at the season opener at the Santos Tour Down Under but with just one month until the start of the Tour de France, it will be a race against time for him to line-up fit and ready in Porto-Vecchio.
The line-up for Blanco suggests Renshaw will play a support role for the team's number-one fast man Bos while countryman Graeme Brown will also look to launch their Dutch teammate to the win. Renshaw was the best from the rest in the 2012 edition, winning the bunch kick for fourth place, 39-seconds behind the three escapees.
Renshaw had not been included in the original start list for the race but his intention to race was later announced by organisers.
"Mark Renshaw, the Australian sprinter from the Dutch Blanco team makes his comeback in the Ronde van Zeeland Seaports. Renshaw sustained a concussion and a broken collarbone in a massive crash in the second stage of the Tour of Turkey in late April," read the statement.
With Renshaw's contract due to expire at the end of the season it's been reported that he could return to the side of his former teammate Cavendish with the duo forming a near unbeatable combination during their Highroad days. Renshaw had previously admitted the presence of Bos has made it difficult for him to be given his own sprint opportunities and that he had several options on the table for 2014.
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Tour de France
Tour de France 2013