Mark Cavendish pays tribute to retiring legendary lead-out rider Mark Renshaw

The Australian support rider will say goodbye to the peloton at the end of the season

(Image credit: Corbis via Getty Images)

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.

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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.

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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.

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Alex Ballinger
Alex Ballinger

Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.  Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.