Renshaw Sprints to Stage 2 Victory in Tour of Britain
As the race had swooped along the North Wales coast, Omega Pharma-QuickStep's Michal Kwiatkowski went on the attack on the descent of Great Orme with about 4.2 kilometer to go. His attack forced the peloton to spend valuable energy on reeling him in. Kwiatkowski was caught with 2.6 kilometer to go, but the Omega Pharma team kept its cool and remained in perfect position to aim for the stage victory in the final battle across the finish line.
As an attack from Alex Dowsett (Movistar - Canyon Bikes) was caught inside the final kilometer, Renshaw was in perfect position to launch his sprint. He beat Ben Swift (Team Sky Pro Cycling) and Sam Bennett (Team NetApp-Endura) to the line for the stage win, and he also took over the overall Tour of Britain lead. Tyler Farrar of Team Garmin-Sharp-POC finished fourth in the stage.
"It was quite a fast final thirty kilometers. Especially the last 5 kilometers with that kind of a descent. It was quite exciting for the public, I’m sure it was really spectacular to watch and it suited me very well. It was a hard little final, but I had good legs after the Tour de France. So, with a bit of good timing in the sprint it worked out quite well," stage winner Renshaw explained after being celebrated on the podium in Llandudno.
"We’ve got a great team here. It’s a shame Mark Cavendish crashed yesterday because who knows what could have happened, he still finished third yesterday despite his crash. Normally it would have been a perfect sprint for him on my wheel. Now he’s trying to recover after taking a big hit on his thigh. It’s amazing he’s still in the race."
"Personally it’s great to reward the team with my first win in Omega Pharma-Quickstep colors this year. I’m also proud of the fact that we had three riders in the top ten today with Michal Kwiatkowski and Niki Terpstra doing well in the final kilometers with me. Kwiatkowski came onto my wheel in the final. That shows what kind of class rider he is. He knows if he’s on my wheel it’s one more bike length for whoever is trying to come behind. He’s a class rider and those kinds of tactics help teams win races. It’s great to win, it’s a fantastic feeling," Renshaw concluded.
Mark Cavendish continues to recover from a Stage 1 crash that caused pain in his left quadricep.
“I’ve gotten used to that feeling by helping riders like Cavendish,” Renshaw said. “I’ve dedicated myself to so many wins for other riders, so it’s really nice to get a win personally. It’s also nice to step up when our leader took a big hit. If Cav is not feeling great, he’ll tell us. Today he let us know and it was an opportunity for me. I’d like to dedicate this to him as he’s one of the biggest champions of the sport. I came to this team to help him, and even when he’s not 100 percent I’d still dedicate my effort to help him. I’m glad I could step up and execute the sprint in his place, and I’ll continue to support him and my other OPQS teammates in the next days.”
Stage Three sees the Friends Life Tour of Britain remain in Wales, with Monmouthshire's Tumble mountain above Abergavenny set to play host to the first summit finish in the Principality, at the end of a 180 kilometer stage south from Newtown, through Powys.
Commenting on his expectations for Tuesday's stage 3, Team Sky's Bradley Wiggins said "Based on how I felt today on the climb I should be pretty good, it is a bit unknown because I haven't done a summit like that since California but it's just power to weight. I'm where I should be in terms of weight and in terms of power based on training I should be there. You can't account for what guys like Kwiatkowski and Konig will do coming out of the Tour de France."
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