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Mark Renshaw has announced his retirement from pro cycling via a personal statement posted on his team’s website.
The 36 year old Australian has raced professionally since 2004 with a successful career is best known as a trusty lead-out man.
Renshaw said in the statement, “After 16 years, I’m proud to announce that 2019 will be my final year as a professional road cyclist. Looking back on my career it’s very gratifying to note the individual successes, as well as being a major component in victories for my team mates. Being a key part of these victories has certainly been a career highlight and motivated me to perfect the role of a lead out rider.
Looking back, I have had a very fulfilling career as a professional cyclist both on the track and road. During this time I have been particularly lucky to have had many family members and friends that have had to make great sacrifices for me to succeed. To them, I can’t thank you enough. Your support and encouragement has meant that I have always strived to perform at my highest level be it for my trade teams or representing my country.”
Renshaw didn’t chalk up many victories to his name as a professional, instead working in the service of Mark Cavendish during the Team Highroad lead-out train halcyon days in 2009-2011.
After Highroad disbanded in 2012, Renshaw went his separate way from Cavendish to test his own skills as the lead sprinter for Rabobank and then Omega Pharma–Quick-Step with limited success.
Renshaw continued, “Some of my best memories were my first victory in the French Cup race, Tro-Bro Leon. It was a huge weight lifted off my shoulders at that moment in my career, while winning a stage and the general classification in the Tour of Qatar are memories that make me smile thinking back over my career. Other great memories were the moments I was riding for team mates and their success, finishing second on the Champs Elysees to my team mate Mark Cavendish in the 2009 Tour de France was unforgettable.”
In 2016 Renshaw and Cavendish came back together on Team Dimension Data hoping to reclaim their dominance. It was announced this week that Cavendish, who has won 30 stages at the race, would not be selected for this year’s Tour de France lineup.
Renshaw was also noticeably absent from the team roster. “I’m not riding this year’s Tour de France but this was planned from early on in the year. It’s a race that has played a massive part in my career and in my eyes is the greatest sporting event in the world. I have been fortunate enough to be selected 10 times and have loved every moment of the Tour. I can’t wait to watch what promises to be an exciting race and am fully supporting Team Dimension Data as they continue to bring the Qhubeka story to the world stage.”
In December of this year Renshaw was hit by a vehicle near his home in Bathurst, Australia and had to sit out the start of the season after fracturing pelvis. He was sidelined for nearly four months and came back to racing at the end of March.
As for his future, Renshaw said that he will stay in the sport in some way and also wants to chase other passions that have been pushed aside along with some family time.
He closed by saying, “I know it’s the right time to step away from racing, my body and mind won’t allow me to perform and compete to the level that’s required for a race like the Tour de France . I am very fortunate to be able to make the decision to finish this chapter of my life on my terms, and I’m hugely excited about my future ventures.”