Mark Renshaw has signed a two-year contract extension with HTC-Columbia, committing himself to the team until the end of 2012. The Australian has been a hugely important element of sprinter Mark Cavendish's lead-out train over the past two seasons and it comes as no surprise that the team has rushed to secure his services for the foreseeable future.
"I'm happy to extend with the team," said Renshaw. "I know my role and I'm happy to commit to that and be part of a successful team."
Renshaw's Tour de France was cut short when he was ejected from the race due to irregularities during his lead-out on stage 11. He has since returned to action and has just completed the Tour of Denmark, where he snagged a stage victory and delivered another fine performance in the service of his team. "I'm really happy with my form," he said. "I think I can carry this form all the way to World Championships in Australia later this year."
While acknowledging that his primary duty will be to continue to serve as Cavendish's most trusted lead-out man, Renshaw also anticipates some opportunities to develop his own burgeoning palmares. One objective in particular has caught his attention. "Hopefully next year I'll also get more chances to prove myself as one of Australia's top sprinters ready for the Copenhagen World Championships [in 2011]. We rode on the course yesterday," Renshaw explained.
Team manager Rolf Aldag is pleased to have Renshaw continue in HTC-Columbia colours. "Mark is a key rider in our sprint execution and was critical to our sprint success in the Tour de France this year and last," he said.
Aldag also sees plenty of scope for Renshaw to develop his personal ambitions. "He also has a lot of potential as a top sprinter himself which he proved on Saturday when he won the stage in Denmark. We trust in his talent and we're happy to have him as part of the solid foundation for our team."