By Daniel Benson in Mallorca
Mark Renshaw is settling in with his new Columbia teammates as their training camp reaches its fifth day in Majorca. The Australian sprinter signed for the American outfit after his previous team – Crédit Agricole – folded at the end of the season, but he hasn't wasted any time in making use of his new surroundings or setting out his aims for 2009.
"Coming from a French team, I've found this a huge culture shift. But Columbia cover every angle and these guys are 10 steps ahead as far as organisation and race strategy are concerned. At Crédit Agricole we never had camps like this, and since I've been here I have had briefings on my equipment, race schedule and training. This is so, so different from before," said Renshaw.
Renshaw has joined forces with Mark Cavendish, his former teammate at La Française de Jeux Bernhard Eisel, Kim Kirchen and George Hincapie.
"I'm a sprinter, so of course the team wants me to win races, but I'm also here to help Mark and be part of his lead-out train. I'll be heading to the Tour Down Under and then to the Tour of California. Those are two of the team's biggest objectives."
The young Australian was also glad to join a team that, like Crédit Agricole, has a clear anti-doping philosophy. "It's good for me and I'm really happy. I don't want someone jeopardising our team because they make a mistake. The team could fold and that's 70 riders and 70 families."
Last year Renshaw won a stage of Tour Down Under and wore the leader's jersey for a day. The team will be hoping to utilise his sprinting prowess to help fill the void left by Gerard Ciolek. The German was an integral part of the team and won seven races before signing for Milram in the Autumn.