Mark Renshaw (Belkin) earned his fourth podium of the year in the third stage of the Tour of Poland, and came agonisingly close to his team's first victory since the American-based consumer electronics company took sponsorship of the former Blanco outfit for the Tour de France.
Norwegian champion Thor Hushovd (BMC) took stage honours in a narrow victory over the Australian after Renshaw led out the sprint in the final few hundred metres.
Garmin Sharp sprinter, Steele Von Hoff was third.
"At 300 to 400 metres from the line, I was already in second position and had to start my sprint very early," Renshaw explained. "Normally, I like it that way but with the head wind and Thor Hushovd behind me, I couldn't hold on."
Renshaw has a win at the Clasica de Almeria, plus two podium finishes at the Tour Down Under to his name in 2013, which is tipped to be his final season with Belkin. It's understood that Renshaw will reunite with Mark Cavendish at Omega Pharma-QuickStep next season. Not selected for Belkin's GC-focused line-up for the Tour de France, Poland marks the 30-year-old's first race since the Tour de Suisse in June.
A heavy crash at the Tour of Turkey left Renshaw with a fractured collarbone, concussion and a broken tooth. He said following the narrow defeat in Poland that a win on Tuesday would have been the best way to signal that he had returned to his best.
"I've had some bad luck this year and with a stage win, I could've closed that chapter," Renshaw said.
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