Mark Renshaw (Omega Pharma-Quickstep) has made his name as the ultimate lead-out man and the Australian is keen to cherish every victory as a result.
Renshaw sprinted to Tour of Britain stage two success in Llandudno to pull on the leader’s jersey after a spectacular descent down the Great Orme.
Having arrived at the race as Mark Cavendish’s lead-out man, Renshaw seized the opportunity handed to him as a result of his team-mate’s injury and hopes to have lifted team morale in the process.
“It’s great to win,” he said post-stage. “It’s a fantastic feeling.
“I’ve learned to get that feeling from helping others. I’ve dedicated a great portion of my career to helping others – not only Cavendish, but Boasson Hagen, Henderson, Greipel, so many good guys that I’ve dedicated to.
“But every now and again it’s great to get a win.”
Though Cavendish finished in the front group in Llandudno – something stage one winner Marcel Kittel had been unable to do – the Manxman was still feeling the effects of crashing in Liverpool.
It left Renshaw to take up the sprint, as planned by the team mid-stage according to the Australian, with Michal Kwiatkowski playing the perfect team-mate’s role behind him.
And Renshaw paid tribute to the Polish ace’s role in the victory, later adding he hopes the team will rally behind Kwiatkowski as they bid to put him in the yellow jersey on The Tumble.
“It shows what sort of class rider Michal Kwiatkowski is,” Renshaw explained. “He doesn’t want to beat me in the sprint, but he knows if he comes onto my wheel then it’s another bike length for anybody trying to come round us.
“He’s a class bike rider and those sort of tactics help team’s win races. We have a great team here.
“It’s a shame yesterday Mark Cavendish crashed early in the race because that would have been a perfect sprint for Cav in my wheel. He’s still trying to recover.
“He took a big hit to his thigh and it’s amazing he even took the start today but it’s great to reward the team with a victory. This year, it’s the first time I’ve been able to do that.”
Renshaw also admitted spirits had been low in the Belgian super team’s camp on the morning of the stage, which rolled out of Knowsley Safari Park.
But he admitted he was delighted to have been able to seize his opportunity and take victory for the team.
“It’s hard,” he said. “Once again our leader has taken a big hit. We are all right behind Cav, we have rode our whole season dedicated to him, and he’s also a rider that says if he’s not feeling great.
“He might be back tomorrow, but it was a great opportunity for me.
“It suited me pretty well, a hard little final like that. I had good legs after the Tour de France and good timing in the sprint so it worked out well.”