Track training won’t hamper Mark Cavendish in Tour de France sprints, says Renshaw

Cavendish's Dimension Data teammate says the team will do all it can to deliver the Manxman to the yellow jersey on the opening day of the Tour de France

Mark Renshaw has avoided bullish sentiment as he prepares to try and deliver teammate Mark Cavendish to a career first yellow jersey at the Tour de France Grand Départ on Saturday.

Renshaw has tipped a markedly different sprint competition ahead of the 103rd edition of the race in which he said his Dimension Data team is less likely to overtly lead the charging bunch.

>>> Tour de France 2016 preview: Grand Départ and week one (video)

Cavendish earlier this year stated the Grand Départ as one of three primary objectives in a highly ambitious season including the Olympic Games and UCI Road World Championships.

“I know that [yellow jersey] would be Cav’s dream,” Renshaw said. “That would be the best case scenario, to walk away with the yellow jersey, but there’s also half a dozen other guys with the same idea so we’ll try our best.

“If we can do a good stage win early in the first few days I’d be happy.”

The duo will enter Saturday’s 188km flat stage from Mont Saint-Michel on the back of a more “low-key” preparation race, the Tour of Slovenia, which Cavendish abandoned in stage two.


Watch: Tour de France 2016 preview: The sprinters


Cavendish has been selected to represent Team GB in the omnium at the Rio Olympics, which immediately follows the Tour, and has balanced track and road training this season.

Chief pilot Renshaw said the combination would not negatively impede on his speed and ability to compete against established rivals Marcel Kittel (Etixx-QuickStep), who won the Grand Départ in 2013 and 2014, as well as André Greipel (Lotto-Soudal).

>>> Mark Cavendish focused on reaching Paris despite Olympics looming

“He’s done some road blocks – [Tour of] California and road training – so I don’t think it will be too much of a problem,” he said. “He’s definitely going to be fast.”

Renshaw followed Cavendish to Dimension Data this season. The team has selected a more opportunistic than solely sprint dedicated squad, which will add to the different dynamic the pair is set to face.

“We’ve got four or five riders than can really play a part in the final and the other guys will have their job later on in other aspects of the race,” he said.

“We just come in all guns a ’blazing. If we get a victory that will already make the Tour a success. I’m coming in as fresh as possible and hopefully in the best shape.”