Mark Renshaw turned the tables on Mark Cavendish to win stage five of the Tour of Britain in Exmouth.
Renshaw, often called as the best leadout man in the world after playing an integral role in Cavendish’s success, finished second behind his team-mate on stage one in Scotland.
And HTC-Highroad claimed a second one-two four days later – but this time it was Renshaw who won the bunch sprint ahead of Cavendish in the south west, while race leader Lars Boom (Rabobank) finished safely in the peloton.
Alex Rasmussen failed to start in Exeter after HTC-Highroad terminated his contract with immediate effect for missing a recent doping test, while it also came to light that the Dane missed two controls in 2010 while riding for Saxo Bank.
Russell Hampton (Sigma Sport Specialized) and Jonathan Tiernan-Locke (Rapha Condor Sharp) started the day one and two in the King of the Mountains standings but an attack on Dartmoor saw Devon-based rider Tiernan-Locke relieve his rival of the jersey on his local roads.
“It was absolutely amazing,” said Tiernan-Locke. “What an experience riding up Haytor having all people I know and the crowds cheering me on. Knowing the roads helped and the great weather, it was a perfect stage.”
That move helped a 13-man group get away, which included Team Sky’s Mick Rogers, 36 seconds behind Boom in the general classification.
Attacks from within the group saw the break splinter as the race approached its finale, with Europcar rider Damien Gaudin gaining a 40-second advantage with 15km remaining, only for the peloton to reel in the Frenchman with 4km to the line.
Despite next week’s World Championship route being touted as a course for sprinters, Australia selectors left Renshaw out of its squad for the race.
“[I] would like to say I understand but I don’t. Guess I need to prove myself,” tweeted Renshaw after the team was announced.
And the 28-year-old did just that to beat Cavendish to the line – giving a taste of what’s to come next when the duo go head-to-head next year, with Renshaw set to join Rabobank and Cavendish heavily linked with a move to Sky.
Discuss stage five in this forum thread.
1) Mark Renshaw (Aus, HTC Highroad) 04:17:38
2) Mark Cavendish (GB, HTC Highroad) st
3) Robert Förster (Ger, UnitedHealthcare)st
4) Geraint Thomas (GB, Team Sky) st
5) Andrew Fenn (GB, AN Post-Sean Kelly)st
6) Mathew Hayman (Aus, Team Sky ProCycling) st
7) Zak Dempster (Aus, Rapha Condor Sharp) st
8] Stijn Neirynck (Bel, Topsport Vlaanderen) st
9) Daniel Schorn (Aut, Team NetApp) st
10) Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita, Leopard Trek) st
1) Lars Boom (Ned, Rabobank) 16:54:29
2) Geraint Thomas (GB, Team Sky) @ 0:12
3) Boy Van Poppel (Ned, UnitedHealthcare) @ 0:14
4) Daniel Lloyd (GB, Garmin-Cervelo) @ 0:16
5) Linus Gerdemann (Ger, Leopard Trek) @ 0:17
6) Ian Bibby (GB, Motorpoint) @ 0:19
7) Jelle Wallays (Bel, Topsport Vlaanderen) st
8] Stephen Cummings (GB, Team Sky) st
9) Jan-Bert Lindeman (Ned, Vacansoleil-DCM) st
10) Bram Tankink (Ned, Rabobank) st
1) Geraint Thomas (GB, Team Sky) 41pts
2) Mark Cavendish (GB, HTC Highroad) 40pts
3) Lars Boom (Ned, Rabobank) 37pts
King of the Mountains
1) Jonathan Tiernan-Locke (GB, Rapha Condor Sharp) 54pts
2) Russell Hampton (GB, Sigma Sport-Specialized) 44pts
3) Thomas De Gendt (Bel, Vacansoleil-DCM) 25pts
1) Pieter Ghyllebert (Bel, AN Post-Sean Kelly) 33pts
2) Russell Hampton (GB, Sigma Sport-Specialized) 13pts
3) Andrew Fenn (GB, AN Post-Sean Kelly) 10pts