Mark Renshaw will resume his role as Mark Cavendish’s leadout man in 2014 after the Australian joined Omega Pharma-QuickStep – and both will ride a Specialized Venge as they look to rekindle a winning relationship.
Renshaw started his season at his home race, the Tour Down Under, and these pictures show the machine the 31-year-old rode in Australia. Cavendish, meanwhile, began his campaign at the Tour de San Luis in Argentina and the duo are set to ride together for the first time this season at next week’s inaugural Dubai Tour.
Cavendish and Renshaw struck up a formidable partnership between 2009 and 2011 while riding for HTC-Highroad, with the former securing 16 Tour de France stage wins in three years, and the green jersey in his final year with the team.
The Manx Missile moved to Team Sky when the team disbanded, while Renshaw switched to Blanco Pro Cycling in a bid to forge a career as a sprinter in his own right. However, after three wins in two years with the Dutch team, Renshaw will once again serve as leadout man deluxe for Cavendish.
Renshaw’s move means he back on a Specialized, HTC-Highroad’s bike sponsor in 2010 and 2011, and the Venge is the American firm’s aero machine. The frame is designed to combine the aerodynamic prowess of the Shiv time trial machine and the stiffness of the Tarmac SL4.
The result, Specialized say, is 22 watts of ‘free power’ over the Tarmac when ridden at 40km/hr. That aero advantage comes thanks in part to tube profiles developed in conjunction with McLaren and a 3:1 airfoil fork.
OPQS are, along with Astana and Cannondale, one of three teams sponsored by SRAM. Shimano are the dominant force in the peloton, with ten teams, and Campagnolo sponsor five.
Renshaw’s bike is equipped with SRAM’s new top-of-the-range, 11-speed Red 22 groupset and the fast man chose to pair his 53-39t chainset with an an 11-26t cassette for the relatively flat Tour Down Under.
SRAM’s parent company also owns Zipp and Renshaw uses the SL Sprint stem, designed for maximum stiffness when pulling on the bars at full gas. The 120mm stem is slammed, as you’d expect to see on almost every pro bike.
Renshaw will have a range of Zipp wheels at his disposal this season but these 404 Firecrest hoops pictured here are likely to get the most use owing to their 58mm depth, which doesn’t unduly compromise stability, while offering an aerodynamic advantage.
SRAM provide the 53-39t chainrings on Renshaw’s machine but OPQS use Specialized’s own S-Works carbon cranks. A Quarq power meter records Renshaw’s wattage and sends the data to Renshaw’s Garmin computer, held on an out-front handlebar mount.
Renshaw, who was handed the number 145 for the opening race of the season, finished second behind Andre Greipel on the final stage of the Tour Down Under but will now return to leadout duties ahead of the Dubai Tour, which starts in the United Arab Emirates on February 5.