Mark Cavendish will have a new lead out man in 2009 after Australia?s Mark Renshaw agreed to join Team Columbia according to reports in Italy.
Cavendish has often been lead out by Germany?s Gerald Ciolek before sprinting to victory in the last 18 months but the former Under 23 world champion is set to leave Columbia for a major German team looking to boost its line-up of sprinters after a disappointing season.
Cavendish can look after himself in most sprints but the advantages of a good lead out train were obvious in both the Giro d?Italia and the Tour de France when Cavendish won six stages. Columbia has moved quickly to support Cavendish in 2009, with the experienced Bernhard Eisel also signing a new two-year contract.
Renshaw has ridden for Credit Agricole since 2006 and became Thor Hushovd?s dedicated lead out man this spring. He is a handy track rider and successfully used his bike handling skills to lead out Hushovd when he won stage two of the Tour de France in Brieuc.
After team manager Roger Legeay failed to find a new sponsor to replace Credit Agricole, all the riders were released from the French team and Renshaw moved quickly to team up with Cavendish at Columbia.
Thor Hushovd has yet to announce who he will ride for in 2009 but reportedly has several offers. Other riders from Credit Agricole have already found new teams with the talented French rider Pierre Rolland agreeing terms with Bouygues Telecom and Christophe Le Mevel joining Francaise des Jeux.
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