Ode To the Leadout Man – Mark Renshaw!

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Another sensational win by Cavendish in Stage 6 today.  He’s a completely different rider than he was a few days ago.  It’s amazing what a little confidence and self belief will do.

What I’m happy to see is Cavendish’s humbleness and constant appreciation towards his own team in achieving his wins. He’s now won 12 TdF stages in the 3 years he’s been racing the Tour.

In an interview with cyclingnews Cav said:

There are seven guys working for me. I’m not the one taking the glory, I’m the one to finish off the job. I’m just the last part of that unit.”  “It was hard for me to be the part of the unit that failed, that’s what happened on Wednesday and I had a bad night after that,” Cavendish said. “I don’t like that feeling. Yesterday I spoke with Alessandro Petacchi in the peloton. It’s not often that you can talk to riders about problems. He told me it’s in your head, not in your legs. It shows the classy man he is. Fortunately, I got saved by the faith the team kept in me.”

That’s some serious class this young 25yr old is showing.

I’m also thrilled to see Mark Renshaw getting the recognition he deserves.  In my opinion, the final leadout man has the most difficult job of all.  Not to downplay Cavendish’s victories, but up until the last 200m he’s simply following Renshaw’s wheel (yes, easier said than done).  Renshaw has to make the split second decisions to get Cav into the perfect position.  It’s amazing to see the patience and experience that comes into play time after time with HTC Columbia’s leadout.  For Renshaw to determine exactly where to be in the train and have the final burst of speed so that he doesn’t get swarmed by the other trains is absolutely remarkable.  Renshaw does all the swarming.


Even after pulling off Renshaw still finishes 13th

Good on ya Cav! Unfortunately Robbie doesn't share the same excitement
A special prize for aanyone can convince me that those Power Blanace bands Farrar is wearing actually work.
I'm sure half the reason Cav won today was to make sure yesterday's tearful podium shots fade into the distant past -quick



There’s nothing more embarrassing than watching two cyclists try to pretend they’re tough .  Here’s Carlos Barredo attacking Rui Costa after they had crossed the finish line.  At least Costa had it in him to show some creativity by smacking Barredo with his front wheel.  Both riders were fined 200 Swiss Francs and served 2 minutes in the penalty box.

Here’s how we do it back in the Great White North:


My apologies for missing Wednesday’s answers and announcing the winner.  Finding a good WiFi connection can sometimes be tricky and I had to cut the post short.

Wednesday’s winner: The winner of the free entry to Ride The Worlds Melbourne goes to ***Norbs***.  Congratulations!  Please get in touch with me so I can get you the details. (cyclingtips at gmail dot com)

Today’s Quiz

The winner of today’s Tour de France trivia competition will get a BMC replica jersey and knicks.  Sorry, but all I have is size Medium (which fits on the small size of Medium).   It’s really good stuff and will provide excellent incentive to lose 20kg in order to fit into it.

1. In this photo, why is five time TdF winner Bernard Hinault shoving this Française des Jeux rider off the podium?

a) Because he snubbed Hinault by refusing to shake his hand on the podium

b) Because it was a gatecrasher who jumped up on the podium, not a Française des Jeux rider.

c) Because he didn’t pull a turn during the entire handicap stage of the 2009 TdF and dishonorably snagged the win

2. In this photo, why is Bernard Hinault feeding a flurry of right hooks to this unwitting roadside fan?

2 Bonus:  Who is the Panasonic rider in the background who has his left hand cocked and ready to fire?

3. In this photo, why is Benard Hinault jumping from the top ropes of the podium to tackle this fan?

4. Double Bonus:  Who would win a fight between Eddie Merckx, the Cannibal, and Benard Hinault, the Badger)?

Have a great weekend and enjoy staying up late with the luxury of sleeping in. I’ll be taking the weekend off blogging and I’ll see you Monday!