Post race interview: Mark Renshaw (Stage winner)

Talking to Aussie (Bathurst) Mark Renshaw, a former trackie, who won the stage into Exmouth today, about the stage, his team for next year and non-selection for the worlds

“It was a really fast run in today but from the word go, it was tough today. We had a lot of attacks for the first hour of racing until that group got away. All day it was up and down and the speed was high all day as well. I wasn’t sure it would come back together to be a sprint because I remember last year and there were riders spread out across 25 minutes so we were lucky we had good weather and that played a part.”

“There were probably 15 climbs today when I thought it was the end of my race.  I was quite sure the GC would be reorganised but it came down to a bunch sprint. The bunch split a few times until that break got away. The stage was that hard though that I think it neutralised it a lot because there are a lot of guys out there with tired legs.”

“Ten or fifteen k out when we (HTC) started riding with the team on the front, it was pretty much downhill. The last few K were quite difficult.”

“The plan was to work for Cav like we do all the time and through the final two K, we had the roundabout at 500 and the sweeping right turn at 250. I tried to keep Cav in front from before the roundabout and I think I was with Carl Menzies coming into the roundabout and made sure I was first through the corner at 250 and then put the head down and went from there.”

“I was quite lucky I probably put one or two lengths into Cav through the corner and he probably hesitated a second or two to give me a few metres advantage. I’m really happy with the win, extremely happy to get a win with Cav and the team. I dare say Mark wasn’t giving 110% today.”

Mark then praised the HTC team for the success it has had. “I am very privileged to have been part of that team and have grown mentally and physically a lot of over the years and that played a big part in my decision to go to Rabobank and try my own hand. Mark and I have been good friends over the years and he understands the decision I have taken to ride for myself next year”.

“It is going to be quite difficult next year with the big changes in the peloton, especially with HTC closing down and seeing the riders disperse among the other teams and it’s going to be very open and I’m looking  forward to that.”

Not being selected by Australia for the Worlds. “If you read any online forum or view from professionals, they think I should be part of the team. I have said all along I have good form and the goal all along has been the World Championships and I have built up towards that. I got the news Sunday night that I had not been selected and mentally I have been off the ball and lost motivation for a few days and today was good to win and get that motivation back.”

“Unless a rider crashes or gets ill, I can’t see myself getting a call up. I am extremely disappointed though I didn’t get a start in the 9 man team. Through out the last years I have been one of the most devoted team riders and I can’t explain why they didn’t take me. They have decided they are going with a different approach but still even with that different approach  for Simon Gerrans, I don’t think there is a better rider than me who can chauffer him around the bunch for 200 kilometres leading to the final.”

“I doubt there are many riders in the peloton who have a better nous than me about saving your legs through out the day.”

Mark then replied to a question about where his grand parents are from (to change countries) and he replied, “Dutch grand parents. They moved out to Australia after the war so I am probably more Dutch although my father’s side is Irish so we could find something out there but I love Australia and I’ll keep giving 100 per cent until I get to put on the green and gold.”

“I am really happy to end my season here with the Tour of Britain and a win.”

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