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Farrar there to make up the numbers, claims HTC-Columbia rider kicked off Tour

Mark Renshaw of HTC-Columbia has launched a scathing attack at the Garmin-Transitions team after being thrown of the Tour de France yesterday for headbutting Julian Dean and moving across Tyler Farrar’s line, vowing never to speak to anyone from the team again, and claims that Farrar, who is riding with a broken wrist after his crash on Stage 2, is simply “making up the numbers.”

The Australian’s actions yesterday paved the way for team mate Cavendish to claim the sprint win on Stage 11 in Bourg-les-Valence, but immediately after the finish race officials decided to throw him out of the race.

While in the past, riders have been disqualified from individual stages following headbutting incidents – a fate that has in the past befallen Katusha’s Robbie McEwen and Cavendish’s sprint mentor, Erik Zabel – or for having been adjudged to have forced other riders towards the barriers, as happened to Cavendish himself last year, Renshaw’s exclusion from the race as a whole has clearly come as a shock to the rider.

Talking to the Tour de France website as he waited for a train at Valence station, Renshaw said he believed the punishment had been unduly harsh, although some have pointed out that as a lead out man, not a sprinter, and therefore not looking to secure points in the green jersey competition, simply being disqualified from the stage would have effectively been no punishment at all.

“It seems like everyone has analysed the footage enough to have their own opinion,” said Renshaw. “In my opinion, in no way did I deserve to be disqualified from the race.”

He continued: “In the heat of the moment, I may have committed some things wrong,” saying “obviously the point that I think did probably make an error of judgment was when I moved left,” in other words after the headbutting incident with Dean, following which he moved across Farrar’s line.

"I moved to the left to start my own sprint after Cavendish had already passed," insisted Renshaw. “At that stage, I looked and didn’t see anyone – obviously thinking that Farrar was coming on the right, and I moved left. Farrar was three lengths behind Cav. I never meant to impede his line. You’ll see that I moved away once I realised I might have impeded him but I don’t think that offence warrants getting kicked out of the Tour de France.”

Analysis of the TV pictures however suggests that Renshaw was aware of precisely where Farrar was – he looks over his shoulder as the Garmin-Transitions man came up the inside and then appeared to move across to slam the door shut, and his moving away seems to be as much a result of Farrar putting his arm out to fend off Renshaw as he sought to avoid a crash as anything else.

Nevertheless, the HTC-Columbia rider believes that it is Garmin-Transitions that are guilty of seeking to prevent Cavendish from getting into a winning position, although he maintains that he believes his team mate will prevail, saying “I think Cavendish will win regardless of whether he’s got one rider or five with him. He’s ten times the sprinter that Tyler Farrar is,” before adding "I think Farrar is just flapping around the place, making up the numbers – I can’t see him winning a sprint. The only way they could win is if they take us out. I think that’s the attitude that Garmin has."

He also reserved a stinging rebuke for New Zealander Dean, his former team mate at Credit Agricole. "It’s sad to say but Julian Dean’s sole objective yesterday seemed to be to come up and put me left into the barriers, causing me to brake and causing Cavendish to run underneath the wheel and brake also,” insisted Renshaw. “It’s sad that that is the only way they can try and win races.”

As far as the Australian is concerned, “It’s all finished now with everyone at Garmin after some of the reports I’ve read about those guys have said. I’d never wish for anyone to get sent home from the Tour de France because I know how much it means to a rider, to the team and to the sponsors. From the reports of what they’ve said – that the disqualification was justified, that my actions were intentional – I think it’s pretty harsh.”

Renshaw concluded by saying, “I won’t speak with anyone from Garmin anymore.”

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.

17 comments

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aworthycause [29 posts] 7 years ago
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A bad apple. Not to mention childish (“I won’t speak with anyone from Garmin anymore.”). I'd imagine the Garmin lads are only crying their eyes out.

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bikeandy61 [538 posts] 7 years ago
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 19 Well up to now my opinion of Renshaw was certainly higher than my opinion of Cav. I don't know whether he has always been so petulant or if it's a result of hanging out with the so called "fastest man in the world" for too long. At some point something has to be done to try to prevent bunch sprints turning in to ice hockey matches. If he'd been kicked out for one of his 2 offences I'd agree the punishment was OTT but he definitely made 2 different infractions and got what was needed.  19

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MattFr [107 posts] 7 years ago
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I'm finding it interesting the reaction of Garmin riders to this, compared to say McEwan, they do seem to be taking it very personally. That said Renshaw does come across badly with the response.
Some blame has to be placed on Dean, he did come across Renshaw, surely you wouldn't lean to one side like that for any other reason than to impede Renshaw.
The whole incident does suggest that the commisaires need to be looked at.

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Tony Farrelly [2919 posts] 7 years ago
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Farrar was "making up the numbers" on the podium yesterday wasn't he? Even after Renshaw tried to stop him… dearie me

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cactuscat [284 posts] 7 years ago
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didn't see him my arse.

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Tony Farrelly [2919 posts] 7 years ago
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According to race radio Farrar has quit on the road, so he's not making up the numbers any more then… if it's true

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Simon_MacMichael [2503 posts] 7 years ago
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Maybe he's headed off to the station back in Valence to have it out with Renshaw... better be careful which arm he uses, mind  3

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Simon E [3207 posts] 7 years ago
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Well, perhaps he really didn't see Farrar on his left, Dean & Farrar had been on his right seconds earlier. If that's the case drifting a bit to his left would actually have been considerate. It depends on how far behind his field of vision he could see when he looked across.

But I do feel that DQ'ing him from the race is a bit harsh. I think I'd feel pretty bad if I was sitting on the railway platform while everyone else was still racing. And I think his headbutt (sounds worse than in reality, I call it defending his line) was justified.

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gazzaputt [232 posts] 7 years ago
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To right he shouldn't speak to anyone from Garmin.

Disgraceful some of the comments from Dean, Hunter and Vaughters.

Also true about Farrar just making up the numbers.

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flyin4alivin [8 posts] 7 years ago
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 7 The head bumping and cutting off your competition may be normal and work fine on a track with only a couple of other riders. The massive consequences of a mistake at that point in a road race between the barriers are exponetionally more dangerous and should not be tolerated by Le Tour or the other riders. Cavendish is talented enough to win without employing these shady tactics. My compliments to the riders with the guts to speak out and and The Tour for the DQ.

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Tom Amos [236 posts] 7 years ago
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We sent all the convicts to Australia for a reason. He should have stayed there.

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Tom Amos [236 posts] 7 years ago
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I can't understand why he's feeling bitter. I mean, anyone would think he's been kicked out of the Tour de France or something.

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John_the_Monkey [438 posts] 7 years ago
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What ifs are hard, but Farrar looked good before Renshaw cut him off, certainly good enough for podium on the stage.

And the video does make it look deliberate.

Someone at HTC needs to have a word with the riders, because they're coming across as complete arses when they open their mouths.

Compare;
http://www.slipstreamsports.com/2010/07/06/video-farrar-surviving-the-op...

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Uomo Del Ghiaccio [1 post] 7 years ago
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During a sprint it is expected that sometimes will be some mild actions to gain room and a better position. head butting three times is excessive and for this action Renshaw should have been relagated to the end of the field. However Renshaw didn't stop after the head butting incident.

The video very clearly shows that Renshaw looked back with Farrar directly in his site line and he chose to move over directly into the path of Farrar. If this was a sprinter from any other team there may be an argument, but because both incidents that Renshaw was involved in were with the same team it is extremely logical that this was an act of revenge.

I postulate that Renshaw fully expected that he would be relegated to the end of the field and really didn't care as his goals were purely to launch Cavendish. I also feel that he was still hot when he looked back and decided in the heat of the moment to act and block Farrar. This second action is the action coupled with the first event that lead to the determination to expel Renshaw from the tour.

Farrar has now also left the tour. I feel that there was not much upside for Farrar to remain in the tour. If he won a sprint against Cavendish, there would always be an asterisk that Cavendish's lead out man was not there, he has a broken wrist. With the troubles between the HTC and Garmin teams there may fears of further retaliation and that it would be foolish continue under these circumstances.

Renshaw is now out there flapping his gums when he should be silent and waiting for the tour to pass. With each statement he looks more and more guilty. Coupled with the video evidence, public sentiment is causing respect for Renshaw to evaporate quickly.

My advice to Renshaw is to stop trying to justify his actions, as it does not matter anymore. Wait for time to pass and remember that for quite some time he will be watched very closely for similar actions or infractions.

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Louis Clark [8 posts] 7 years ago
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Julian Dean was at least as guilty as Renshaw in terms of the first incident. Garmin's nicey-nice image off the bike probably saved him but its also the reason they don't win nearly as much as HTC. Good on Renshaw, he is right to be frustrated, though he wasn't as innocent as he is trying to make out.

The organisers stance is frustratingly inconsistent but this is bike racing, we can hardly expect fair, consistent governance can we!

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radar83 [1 post] 7 years ago
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Mark Renshaw is acting like a spoilt bratt. He is blaming others for the mistakes he made. He even admitted head butting was a bit much he even said he cut off Farrar and that was wrong, yet he has the audacity to blame others for what he did. Where is his accountability in all of this? He admits to it but believe he shouldn't be held accountable. My 5 year brother talks the same way.
Julian dean didn't cut across him he held his line or the stewards would have called it differently. Its like the Australians bowling an underarm cricket bowl and then ripping into the New Zealanders for critising him. He needs to shut his mouth and take it like a grown responsible Man and not act like a child.
As for Tyler Farrar just making up the numbers on the podium. He got interfered with and just still finished third one wheel off second after being 3 bike lengths down on two of the best srinters in the world With a broken wrist! Obviously he isn't as crap as people would suggest.
What a lead off man Julian Dean is though. Did you see how far back he brought Tyler up from. When you look at the whole situation HTC columbia nearly ruined it for Mark Cavendish
Renshaw only has himself to blame and shouldn't be blame others for his on short comings and mistakes!

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Louis Clark [8 posts] 7 years ago
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radar83 wrote:

Mark Renshaw is acting like a spoilt bratt. He is blaming others for the mistakes he made. He even admitted head butting was a bit much he even said he cut off Farrar and that was wrong, yet he has the audacity to blame others for what he did. Where is his accountability in all of this? He admits to it but believe he shouldn't be held accountable. My 5 year brother talks the same way.
Julian dean didn't cut across him he held his line or the stewards would have called it differently. Its like the Australians bowling an underarm cricket bowl and then ripping into the New Zealanders for critising him. He needs to shut his mouth and take it like a grown responsible Man and not act like a child.
As for Tyler Farrar just making up the numbers on the podium. He got interfered with and just still finished third one wheel off second after being 3 bike lengths down on two of the best srinters in the world With a broken wrist! Obviously he isn't as crap as people would suggest.
What a lead off man Julian Dean is though. Did you see how far back he brought Tyler up from. When you look at the whole situation HTC columbia nearly ruined it for Mark Cavendish
Renshaw only has himself to blame and shouldn't be blame others for his on short comings and mistakes!

Bit of a rant that isn't it? Sounds just like Mark Renshaw's from the other day!