Mark Renshaw will retire from professional cycling at the end of this season, bringing the curtain down on a career that began in 2004. The Australian made the announcement on Thursday morning in a statement on the Dimension Data website.
“After 16 years, I’m proud to announce that 2019 will be my final year as a professional road cyclist,” wrote Renshaw, who will turn 37 in October.
“I know it’s the right time to step away from racing, my body and mind won’t allow me to perform and compete to the level that’s required for a race like the Tour de France. I am very fortunate to be able to make the decision to finish this chapter of my life on my terms, and I’m hugely excited about my future ventures.”
A product of the Australian track programme, Renshaw turned professional on the road with FDJeux.com in 2004 before moving on to Crédit Agricole two years later. His time on the squad included victory in the 2006 Tro Bro Leon and a stage on the 2008 Tour Down Under, but he also developed a reputation as a lead-out man and was recruited by Highroad in 2009 to tee up Mark Cavendish in the sprints.
Renshaw won the Tour of Qatar in 2011 and, after three years in Cavendish’s service, Renshaw moved on to Rabobank in the following season in order to pursue his own ambitions as a sprinter. He claimed three victories across his two seasons with the Dutch squad before returning to Cavendish’s side in 2014, this time at Omega Pharma-QuickStep.
In 2016, Renshaw moved with Cavendish to Dimension Data, and he helped guide the Manxman to four stage victories on that year’s Tour de France. Renshaw made his 10th and final Tour appearance last year. Earlier this week, Dimension Data left Cavendish out of the team for the 2019 Tour. Renshaw missed the opening months of the 2019 season after breaking his pelvis in a training crash in December, and only began his season at Driedaagse Brugge-De Panne in late March.
“I’m not riding this year’s Tour de France but this was planned from early on in the year,” Renshaw wrote. “It’s a race that has played a massive part in my career and in my eyes is the greatest sporting event in the world. I have been fortunate enough to be selected 10 times and have loved every moment of the Tour.”
Renshaw’s exploits on behalf of Cavendish earned him a reputation as the best lead-out man in the peloton, though he also claimed a dozen victories across his career.
“Some of my best memories were my first victory in the French Cup race, Tro-Bro Leon. It was a huge weight lifted off my shoulders at that moment in my career, while winning a stage and the general classification in the Tour of Qatar are memories that make me smile thinking back over my career,” Renshaw said. “Other great memories were the moments I was riding for teammates and their success, finishing second on the Champs-Élysées to my teammate Mark Cavendish in the 2009 Tour de France was unforgettable."