Mark Cavendish has paid tribute to his legendary lead-out rider Mark Renshaw who will retire at the end of the season.
Renshaw and Cavendish have been a peerless sprint pairing over the last decade, racking up 19 Tour de France victories while riding together.
Australian Renshaw announced on Thursday (July 4) that he would be retiring from professional cycling at the end of the 2019 season, saying could no longer race at the top tier.
In a touching social media post, Cavendish said: “Today I’ve been taking a trip down memory lane. 10 years ago I started to follow the wheel of a smooth-as-silk Australian in the sprints and it wasn’t long before we were pretty much unstoppable.
“My long-time friend, team-mate, lead-out man, pilot fish, room-mate, and much more Mark Renshaw announced his retirement from professional cycling. A social media post would not do justice to the tribute you deserve from me mate.
“So I shall wait until you’ve officially taken your last pedal revolution to do a proper tribute. I sincerely hope we race together again before this day. Thank you for everything.”
Renshaw will call time on his 16-year pro career later this year, aged 37.
After starting his career with Française des Jeux in 2003, Renshaw went on to ride for some of the most successful sprint teams in the peloton like Columbia-HTC and Etixx – Quick-Step, before joining South African outfit Dimension Data in 2016 where he will see out the remainder of his career.
Cavendish and Renshaw first teamed up in 2009 at Columbia-HTC and have had phenomenal success together.
Renshaw said one of his fondest memories was finishing second to team-mate Cavendish on the Champs-Élysées on the final day of the 2009 Tour de France.
Both Cavendish and Renshaw have been left out of the Dimension Data squad for the 2019 Tour de France.
Renshaw has notched 12 career wins for himself despite his role as a support rider, including his first win at Tro-Bro Léon in 2006, two stages of the Tour Down Under, a stage and the overall at the 2011 Tour of Qatar and two stages of the Tour of Britain.