2012.06.26

If I had to pick a top three for the points classification, I’d go with Sagan, Cavendish and Griepel. There’s no way I’d try and predict their order though!

Mark Renshaw

I miss Cav and Renshaw on the same team together so much. I clicked this link to Renshaw’s blog post on Cycling News simply because I was hoping for a Cav mention. Because it wasn’t a break-up. It wasn’t their choice when HTC folded. Each rider has to find the best team for themselves, and it turned out the best team for themselves wasn’t the best team together. It means, though, that Mark Renshaw and Mark Cavendish are still friends, even if they’re no longer teammates.

It wasn’t a break-up. Now, it’s more like a long-distance relationship. We still see photos of the two of them chatting before races, riding next to each other in the peloton, and racing each other in the sprints. Cavendish is still the fastest, but Renshaw has been let off his leash a little. He’s the best sprinter on a team of climbers. It’s his turn to win some stages at the Tour.

Just as Renshaw predicts Cav in the running to win the points jersey, I know Cav would be ecstatic to see Renshaw take his first stage at a Grand Tour. I think he would be happy to come second in that sprint. I used to call them the best song-and-dance team in the peloton. The way they worked together was magical. It was the best example of the selflessness that happens in road racing.

When you’re at a big race like the Tour de France, the biggest of the big races, the biggest there is, you’re there for your team. Renshaw knew that he was there to get Cav across the finish line. Nine riders from each team, but only one can be the leader. Only one can stand on top of the podium in Paris.

But there are other victories to be won along the way. There are little sprints and big sprints, little mountains and big mountains, and there are jerseys for each stage and each climb and each day that a rider goes out and makes the most of his own race. There are a lot of little ways to win at the Tour, and one of those ways is to make sure the guy on your wheel crosses the line. Renshaw knows what the little victories are like. It would be nice to see him get a big one for himself.