While Mark Renshaw’s immediate future will be taken up with convalescence from the broken collarbone he sustained at the Tour of Turkey on Monday, a reunion with Mark Cavendish at Omega Pharma-QuickStep might be on the cards in the longer-term, according to a report in Belgium.
Het Nieuwsblad reports that Renshaw, currently at Blanco but out of contract at the end of the season, has been targeted by Omega Pharma-QuickStep to join the squad in 2014 as Cavendish’s lead-out man. Renshaw previously performed that duty with HTC-Highroad from 2009 to 2011, but parted company with Cavendish and joined Rabobank when the team disbanded.
“My manager has spoken with the parties involved but there’s been no decision yet,” Renshaw told Het Nieuwsblad ahead of his crash on Monday. “I’m in a comfortable position because I have several options. Either I stay as a sprinter, which I can do at Blanco, or I go and be a lead-out man somewhere else. There are several teams interested.”
Although Cavendish has won eight races since joining Omega Pharma-QuickStep at the beginning of the season, he has been lacking a dedicated lead-out man of Renshaw’s calibre.
“Cavendish is a good friend and we have a long history together,” Renshaw said. “There was always some kind of chemistry between us. I trust him and he trusts me. That’s very important in a sprint and I know he wants me very much at Omega Pharma-QuickStep.”
Told that Patrick Lefevere had declared his love for Renshaw, the Australian laughed: “Love? I think Lefevere just wants to win. He’s got the fastest sprinter in the world and now he must build a team around him.”
Renshaw joined Rabobank – now Blanco – at the beginning of 2012 in the hope of making a career for himself as a sprinter in his own right, but has regularly found himself deployed as a lead-out man in the service of Theo Bos. Indeed, he was setting up Bos for the sprint when he crashed out of the Tour of Turkey on Monday.
“I’d like to win more races at Blanco but it’s not always easy with Bos in the team because if we are riding together, the team decides that I ride for him,” Renshaw admitted.
Surgery in the Netherlands
Renshaw has left Turkey and is set to undergo surgery on his collarbone in Amersfoort in the Netherlands on Tuesday evening. He also lost a tooth and suffered a concussion in a crash that he described as the worst of his career.
“I will bounce back soon but it will take some weeks. That's the biggest crash I've ever had. You pay dearly for errors at this speed,” Renshaw said via Twitter. “I now travel to Holland to fix my tooth and operate on my collarbone tonight. It's going to be a long day!”