Mark Renshaw, Giro d'Italia 2012, Milan, Lombardy, Italy, Europe

Mark Renshaw, Giro d'
    Mark Renshaw (born 22 October 1982) is an Australian racing cyclist with UCI ProTeam Etixx-Quick Step. His most notable wins are the general classification of the 2011 Tour of Qatar, and the one-day race Clásica de Almería in 2013. From 2009 to 2011, while at Team Columbia-High Road, Renshaw was known for being the main lead-out man for fellow sprinter Mark Cavendish. Renshaw, who was born in Bathurst, New South Wales, began his career as a track cyclist riding for the Bathurst Cycle Club. Being coached at club level by Mark Windsor, he showed early promise, and went on to be selected for the Western Region Academy of Sport (where Windsor remained his coach). At the Under 17s level, in the 1998 Australian Track Championships, he won gold in the Teams Pursuit (Australian Record), Scratch Race, Time Trial, and Individual Pursuit (Australian Record), and silver in the Flying 200m Time Trial. As a first-year under 19 rider, Renshaw continued to achieve strong results on the velodrome. His results included 3rd in the time trial (behind eventual World Champion Ben Kersten and World Championship Bronze Medalist Jobie Dajka), 4th in the Individual Pursuit, 5th in the Flying 200m Time Trial, 3rd in the Sprint (again behind Dajka and Kersten who were both again top 3 in the World Championships), 1st in the Teams Pursuit (with NSW); and 1st in the Olympic Sprint (again with NSW).[6] Renshaw was then selected to compete for Australia in the Junior World Track Championships, where he became a World Champion, alongside Jobie Dajka and Ben Kersten, in the Olympic Sprint. As a second-year Under 19 rider, Renshaw had a very successful national track championship, mirroring that of his earlier success as a second year Under 17 rider. He was 1st in the Olympic Sprint, 1st in the Time Trial, 2nd in the Individual Pursuit, 1st in the Team Pursuit, 4th in the Keirin and 1st in the Scratch Race. Again Renshaw was chosen to compete in the Junior World Championships. In these Championships, Renshaw added individual World Championship success to his Team's success from the previous season, returning to Australia a champion in the 1000m Time Trial, as well as defending his team's crown in the Olympic Sprint, and thus becoming a Triple World Junior Champion. As a senior Renshaw began to concentrate more on an endurance programme, in the hope of becoming a professional road cyclist. However in 2001, as a first year senior, he won the Overall Track World Cup in his pet event as a junior, the 1 km Time Trial. It was a transition season however, and by seasons end his focus had switched to longer events. He was an Australian Institute of Sport scholarship holder for the 2004 Athens Summer Olympic Games. 2002 was a breakthrough year for Renshaw as an endurance track cyclist. Throughout the year he placed consistently in the Points Race, Madison and Teams Pursuit. And went on to be part of the Australian Team Pursuit team that broke the World Record at the Manchester Commonwealth Games (along with Graeme Brown, Peter Dawson and Luke Roberts). He was also later part of the Australian senior World Championship-winning Team Pursuit team. Mark signed with the Dutch Rabobank squad before the start of the 2012 season, taking the chance to race for himself rather than continuing to lead-out Cavendish. After hearing the news, Cavendish claimed that no one could do the same job Renshaw had done for him the previous three years, reiterating the point that he believed Renshaw to be the best in the world at leading out a sprinter. Renshaw won stage 4 of the Tour of Turkey. The mass sprint was an extremely close affair with Renshaw taking the win over fellow Australian Matthew Goss. The narrow margin was impossible to distinguish with the naked eye, even on the photo-finish. Renshaw withdrew from the Tour de France on Stage 12 in the mountains with approximately 72 km to go, after succumbing to injuries from four separate falls earlier in the Tour. In 2013, his team's name changed to Blanco Pro Cycling, as Rabobank decided to withdraw their cycling sponsorship. In February at the Clásica de Almería, Renshaw benefited from a good lead-out and bagged his first win of the season. In April, Renshaw crashed heavily in the final stretch of the Tour of Turkey's second stage while he was the second man on the road, causing a mass pile-up. He fractured his collarbone, suffered a concussion and lost a tooth in the accident. On 10 July, it was announced that Renshaw would join Omega Pharma-Quick Step for the 2014 season, joining former HTC-Highroad team-mate Mark Cavendish at the squad. Renshaw has Dutch grandparents who emigrated to Australia after the Second World War. In November 2009, Mark announced his engagement to longtime partner Kristina Harris. They married in a private ceremony in Mudgee, NSW in November 2010.

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