Renshaw suggests worlds selection might have been affected by signing for GreenEdge rival
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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Renshaw suggests worlds selection might have been affected by signing for GreenEdge rival

by VeloNation Press at 11:41 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, World Championships
 

Mark ResnhawFollowing yesterday’s announcement of the Australian elite men’s lineup for the world road race championships, Mark Renshaw’s supporters and a sizeable proportion of Aussie fans were left scratching their heads about his non-selection for the team.

The rider is one of the quickest sprinters in cycling as well as being an important lead-out man for Mark Cavendish, a rider he has helped to many of his 20 Tour de France stage victories.

He was clearly unhappy to be left off the team, and has spoken further on the issue. Renshaw has told Australian journalists that he believes there is a chance that the fact that he will ride for Rabobank rather than the new Australian GreenEdge team next year played a part in the selectors’ decision.

“I wouldn't rule it out … when I was up for contract I told GreenEdge I was out of contract,” he told Sydney Morning Herald writer Rupert Guinness.

“Up until the moment I signed for Rabobank they didn't put an offer on the table. I wasn't going to wait around for them, that's for sure. In the current climate that was fair, I think.

“I don't know how much of a factor [it played], but … it probably [had] something to do with it. I have to watch what I say. I can't see myself going to GreenEdge in the next few years [but] I wouldn't want to rule myself out of the world titles forever.”

Speaking to VeloNation last week, Renshaw hinted at differences between himself and the GreenEdge management. “We had some talks, and in the end I think they already had the riders they wanted. To be honest with you, I don’t know if there was a place there for me,” he said. “We had some discussions but, yeah, I think they already had their main riders…there wasn’t too much to talk about, really.”

There are strong links between the GreenEdge team and the Australian selectors, not least because the chief backer of both the team and the national squad is Australian millionaire Gerry Ryan. There is also an overlap of staff, with Matt White being involved with both.

Of the nine riders named to the worlds team, five of those will race with GreenEdge next year, including the likely captain Matt Goss. One possible reason why the selectors might not go along with Renshaw is that if he were to win the race, his rainbow jersey would go to the Rabobank team rather than the new Australian setup.

Speaking to Cycling Central, Renshaw said that another possible factor was that unlike Milan San Remo winner Goss, he didn’t have a proven history of success in Classic events. He has focussed his career more on performing in stage races rather than single day events, but felt that his recent form showed he would be up to the task.

“There’s probably a lot of reasons rolled into it,” he said. “To tell you the truth, I can’t tell you the exact reason why they haven’t taken me. All I can say is I’m very surprised they didn’t take someone like myself, who has proven to be one of the good guys for working for sprinters. Extremely surprised.”

However Cycling Australia’s performance director Kevin Tabotta insists that the selection was fair and balanced. “I believe we’ve put together teams best suited for the course taking into account recent form and results,” he said.

“We’ve considered the possible scenarios that might arise during the race and selected the riders to suit,” he said.

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