Cavendish joins forces again with Renshaw while Uran adds new strength to Omega Pharma Quick Step team
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Thursday, August 01, 2013

Cavendish joins forces again with Renshaw while Uran adds new strength to Omega Pharma Quick Step team

by VeloNation Press at 8:53 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Two year contracts for specialist leadout man and this year’s Giro runner-up

Mark RenshawHours after the Omega Pharma Quick Step team announced the signing of Alessandro Petacchi to the squad, Mark Cavendish has received a further boost to his sprint prospects with the news that former right hand man Mark Renshaw will rejoin him at the squad next year.

Like Petacchi, Renshaw will have a major role delivering Cavendish to the line. He’s long been regarded as the fastest sprinter in the peloton, although he was outpaced by Marcel Kittel (Argos Shimano) in this year’s Tour and had to settle for two stages.

The Manx rider will hope that with a better leadout train in place, that he can capitalise on more opportunities and increase his hit rate again.

“I'm delighted to be joining Omega Pharma – Quick-Step next year,” said Renshaw, who competed alongside and for Cavendish on the HTC Highroad squad. “It is one of the best teams in the world which I am looking forward to be a part of. Of course, after a couple of years apart, riding on the same team as my good friend Mark Cavendish again is something I am going to enjoy.

“It will be great returning to lead-out duty's fighting for victories with Cav. Hopefully we will celebrate many wins with him and the rest of the team.”

Renshaw and Cavendish parted ways when the HTC setup unfolded at the end of 2011 due to the lack of a sponsor. Cavendish was disappointed that the Australian headed to Rabobank rather than trying to stay with him, but Renshaw felt that it was time to try to achieve big things for himself.

However in the year and a half since he hasn’t been as successful as he expected, and now considers it time to rejoin Cavendish and help the Briton to win.

“Mark is one of the most appreciated riders in his work as a lead-out man,” said Omega Pharma Quick Step chief Patrick Lefevere. “His arrival is important to improve our potential in the preparation and execution of sprints for Cavendish, whom he already knows quite well.

“Mark will also be important for any eventual sprint by Boonen and when necessary he will put his experience to the service of our young sprinter Andy Fenn. With the skills and potential of Renshaw, Petacchi and Steegmans, our sprinters will be able to count on a high level lead out man in every race.”

He will move to the team at the start of next season, while Petacchi will start there next week. He is able to do so as he walked away from his existing contract with Lampre Merida earlier this year.

Rigoberto UranAlso joining Renshaw in coming on board for the 2014 and 2015 seasons is Sky’s Rigoberto Urán Urán. The 26 year old has underlined his potential with silver in the 2012 Olympic Games road race and the runner-up slot in this year’s Giro d’Italia.

He also won the Cordenons - Altopiano del Montasio stage in the Giro and two years ago, temporarily led the best young rider classification in the Tour de France.

“I am very pleased that I can race on a team as important as Omega Pharma – Quick-Step,” said Urán, “and that I can contribute to the growth of the team. The first time I came to Europe I was very close to signing with the team but then everything went up in smoke.

“After a few years our paths have crossed again. After the experience with Sky, who I thank for the years spent together, a new chapter in my career is beginning and I can't wait to get started.”

While this year’s Omega Pharma Quick Step team is based mainly around doing well in sprint stages and the Classics, Lefevere sees Urán’s signature as helping the team become slightly more three dimensional, in terms of the range of races that it can target.

“Rigoberto's arrival reinforces our team as far as the major tours are concerned,” he said. “Urán is a top rider and his talent on climbs goes without saying. On our team he will find an atmosphere and a group of riders who are ready to support him.

“At the same time his experience and his skills will be important for our young athletes like Michal Kwiatkowski, for example, under a perspective of further growth.”
 

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