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Mark Renshaw announces retirement from professional cycling

Mark Cavendish's chief lieutenant has said 2019 will be his last racing season, fuelling speculation about the Manxman's own future

Mark Renshaw has announced that this season will be his last in the professional peloton as he brings to an end a 16-year cycling career. Best known for being Mark Cavendish's final lead-out man and playing a key part in so many of his teammate's many wins, Renshaw confirmed his intention to retire following both riders' omissions from Dimension Data's 2019 Tour de France lineup.

For his part, Renshaw states that it had been a long term plan for him not to go to this year's Tour, despite it being a race 'that has played a massive part in my career and in my eyes is the greatest sporting event in the world'.

The Dimension Data rider was an integral part of the near-perfect lead-out train that delivered Cavendish to so many of his 30 Tour de France stage wins, particularly in their days together at HTC.

At 36, Renshaw may be a couple of years older than Cavendish, but with the latter not being selected for the Tour de France for the first time since his debut in 2007 and now with the loss of his chief support rider, thoughts will inevitably turn to Cavendish's retirement too.

Renshaw said of his own impending retirement, 'After 16 years, I’m proud to announce that 2019 will be my final year as a professional road cyclist. Looking back on my career it’s very gratifying to note the individual successes, as well as being a major component in victories for my teammates.

'Being a key part of these victories has certainly been a career highlight and motivated me to perfect the role of a lead-out rider.'

After thanking his friends, family and the teams he's ridden for, Renshaw continued by saying, 'Other great memories were the moments I was riding for teammates and their success, finishing second on the Champs Elysees to Mark Cavendish in the 2009 Tour de France was unforgettable.'

Kings of the Champs-Elysees

Second place behind Cavendish on the Champs-Elysees, as Renshaw mentions, was the zenith of the HTC lead-out train's dominance. Firing so perfectly and at such speed in on the final stage of the 2009 Tour de France that their rivals weren't even close.