After his second season as a born-again lead-out man, Mark Renshaw (Etixx-QuickStep) says that he is as good as ever in that role. When HTC folded at the end of 2011, Renshaw decided to try his hand as a sprinter to mixed success. Last season, he reunited with Mark Cavendish and helped him to most of his 27 victories since then.
"This year I think I’m back to my best in that role. I think I delivered Cav, in 39 out 40 times, into the best position possible and we were close to the wins so I feel good in the role," Renshaw told Cyclingnews. "I think we had a good season, we won races at California, Turkey, Dubai and we were close in Tirreno. There are not too many objectives that we missed."
Like Cavendish, Renshaw’s contract is due to come to an end this season and he is searching for a new contract but with the season almost at a close he is yet to put pen to paper. That doesn’t mean he’s on his way out, with plenty offers on the table, but he hopes that he and Cavendish will be able to continue with the same team.
"That’s plan. We’re going to trying to stay together. Nothing’s been signed yet and there’s been a lot of talking going on. I’ll wait and see what happens in the next week or 10 days to see what evolves," he said.
There have been plenty of rumours about their destination although it seems increasingly unlikely that they’ll stay at Etixx-QuickStep. MTN-Qhubeka have showed a lot of interest in the two but they first need to sort out their finances before anything can go ahead.
"The media have spoken a lot about that but neither Cav or I have confirmed teams with anyone. There’s still a few teams that are interested in me and Cav also. Hopefully we will soon have a firm idea of what it going to happen," said Renshaw. "They’d be crazy not to. The experience that we can both bring to a team and that is probably why I’ve has a lot of interest from a lot of teams also for my role as a lead-out man."
Renshaw has just finished the Tour of Britain, where the team won three stages, and is now winding down his season. He is not part of Australia’s World Championships team and, instead, heads to Belgium for the GP de Wallonie where he hopes to end the season well.
"After the Tour de France (where he abandoned int he final week - ed), it took a long time to come back at a high level. I feel good now but we’re already looking at the end of the season so there’s not too much to improve, just maintain right now," he said. "I’m just looking forward to going back to Australia for a break and then hopefully soon I’ll know what I’m doing next year. For the moment there is nothing signed so there’s no job."