Renshaw scores Anzac Day win in Turkey
All-Australian finish ... Mark Renshaw of RaboBank pips Matt Goss of GreenEDGE (R) to win stage four of the Tour of Turkey. Photo: Tour of Turkey/Mario Stiehl
Australian Mark Renshaw has scored a crucial stage win in the Tour of Turkey overnight that could set himself up for a successful Giro d'Italia.
The Bathurst rider is in his first season with the Dutch Rabobank as a lead sprinter after the folding last year of his former team, HTC-Highroad for which he raced as the lead-out rider for British world champion Mark Cavendish.
But until the 132km fourth stage of the Tour of Turkey from Fethiye to Marmaris on Wednesday, Renshaw was still without a win and in desperate need of one with the May 5-27 Giro fast approaching.
Besides boosting his confidence, Wednesday's win will also have reassured Renshaw's new team management and teammates, for whom it their second victory in Turkey with Dutch sprinter Theo Bos winning stage one at Alanya, that he is a rider worth backing.
“I've been chasing this for several weeks. I worked very hard to get a victory and its great to finally get it with such a great field," Renshaw said after pipping Australian Matt Goss (GreenEDGE), who was second to Cavendish in last year's world title, and Italian Daniel Colli (Team Type 1).
"It was a very hard stage and I'm very happy. I knew the running from two years ago. I knew it was a very tough finale.
"We were lucky there was headwind and the pace was not too high. After the last corner, I knew I needed to hit the front early to beat Matt Goss.
"We're both pretty fast and at roughly the same speed. It was down to the one who jumped first. The line came quick enough for myself. I was the lead-out man for Mark Cavendish but now I'm a sprinter who splits the roles between lead-out and sprints with Theo Bos.
"It worked pretty well for us here. From here, I go to the Giro, which is my first very big objective before the Tour de France."
Bulgarian Ivailo Gabrovski (KTS) retained the race leader's turquoise jersey in a stage that fell on Anzac Day, as Renshaw recognised later.
"[It was] a very special day in Australia and it's a very special day for me to win as Anzac days honours all the sufferings of the Australians. I'm very proud to win today for Australia," Renshaw said.
For Goss, his second place was frustrating as it was his third for the race so far with finishes behind Bos, German Andre Greipel (Lotto-Belisol) and Renshaw to his name.
“I'm second again but closer to the win than the day I lost to Theo Bos. This is still my first week back on the bike. It was a great sprint by Mark [Renshaw]. I was coming fast in the end but not fast enough obviously,” Goss, who will also race in the Giro, said.
The Tour of Turkey continues tonight (AEST) with stage five, 178km from Marmaris to Turguteris.