Mark Renshaw, the man whose leadouts have helped Mark Cavendish win many of his 20 Tour de France stages, was rewarded today as he took Stage 5 of the Tour of Britain in Exmouth, the last race the pair will ride together for HTC-Highroad. Cavendish crossed in second place as the stage ended with a bunch sprint after the last survivor of the day's break, Damien Gaudin of Europcar, was caught with 3 kilometres to go.Lars Boom of Rabobank, the team Renshaw will ride for next year, retains the overall lead.
The last time the pair fininshed in first and second place in a race was on Sunday's Stage 1 in Dumfries, but the most famous time it has occurred was on the Champs-Elysees on the final day of the 2009 Tour de France.
That day marked the first of Cavendish's three consecutive victories there where Renshaw's leadout saw Cavendish take one of the most convincing sprint wins the famous avenue has ever seen.
Taking first and second on the stage saw a happy conclusion to the day for the team, in sharp contrast to the way it had begun after this morning's revelation that Alex Rasmussen, who had been due to ride today's stage, has been sacked after missing a drugs test.
Speaking after today's stage, sport director Allan Peiper said: "Somewhere between thirty and forty kilometers to go the break started attacking and fell apart, and by twenty to go, the peloton was back together with our boys up front.
"The guys did a great job controlling the front until Bernie [Eisel] got a flat. The roads were extremely narrow and without radios it took too long for us to get a car to him, so he was effectively out of the race."
"On the final kilometer, Renshaw was piloting Cavendish perfectly for the win. But in the last corner, Cav backed off and Renshaw came out of it in the lead, so he hammered toward the line and finished just ahead of Cavendish."
Meanwhile, John Tiernan Locke is the new leader of the mountains classification and also won the day's combativity prize. The Rapha Condor Sharp rider, a native of Devon, slipped into a break early on in the 180-kilometre stage which started in Exeter, taking the scenic route over Exmoor and Dartmoor.
Stage 5 was identified by many beforehand as the toughest stage of the race and that's how it proved for Team's Sky's Ben Swift who told us afterwards that he'd paid for being part of Sky's early efforts to keep the pace up.
"We rode the stage pretty much full gas. We kept things very active at the start and then action kept ticking over untill we hit the first main climb. Then a group went clear, I was in a bit of trouble on this climb after my earlier efforts to help keep things moving early on.
"The gap to the leaders then grew pretty fast to just under 8 minutes. Then the peloton really turned the screw and we were in a long line for the rest of the stage. We managed to pull back the break but I was having a really bad day. I could never recover after the mornings efforts. In the end it though it was a good day for the team and we are ready to take it to them again tomorrow.
Stage Five, Exeter to Exmouth Brief Result
1 Mark Renshaw (Aus, HTC Highroad) 04:17:38 2 Mark Cavendish (GB, HTC Highroad) st 3 Robert Förster (Ger, UnitedHealthcare) st 4 Geraint Thomas (GB, Sky ProCycling) st 5 Andrew Fenn (GB, AN Post - Sean Kelly) st 6 Mathew Hayman (Aus, Sky ProCycling) st 7 Zak Dempster (Aus, Rapha Condor Sharp) st 8 Stijn Neirynck (Bel, Topsport Vlaanderen) st 9 Daniel Schorn (Aut, Team NetApp) st 10 Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita, Leopard Trek) st Overall General Classification, after Stage Five
1 Lars Boom (Ned, Rabobank) 16:54:29 2 Geraint Thomas (GB, Sky ProCycling) @ 0:12 3 Boy Van Poppel (Ned, UnitedHealthcare) @ 0:14 4 Daniel Lloyd (GB, Garmin - Cervelo) @ 0:16 5 Linus Gerdemann (Ger, Leopard Trek) @ 0:17 6 Ian Bibby (GB, Motorpoint) @ 0:19 7 Jelle Wallays (Bel, Topsport Vlaanderen) st 8 Stephen Cummings (GB, Sky ProCycling) st 9 Jan-Bert Lindeman (Ned, Vacansoleil - DCM) st The Prostate Cancer Charity Points Classification, after Stage Five
1 Geraint Thomas (GB, Sky ProCycling) 41pts 2 Mark Cavendish (GB, HTC Highroad) 40pts 3 Lars Boom (Ned, Rabobank) 37pts 4 Mark Renshaw (Aus, HTC Highroad) 29pts Skoda King of the Mountains Classification, after Stage Five
1 Jonathan Tiernan Locke (GB, Rapha Condor Sharp) 54pts 2 Russell Hampton (GB, Sigma Sport - Specialized)44pts 3 Thomas De Gendt (Bel, Vacansoleil - DCM) 25pts = Stephen Cummings (GB, Sky ProCycling) 25pts 5 Linus Gerdemann (Ger, Leopard Trek) 20pts Yodel Sprints Classification, after Stage Five
1 Pieter Ghyllebert (Bel, AN Post - Sean Kelly) 33pts 2 Russell Hampton (GB, Sigma Sport - Specialized)13pts 3 Andrew Fenn (GB, AN Post - Sean Kelly) 10pts 4 Jack Bauer (NZ, Endura Racing) 9pts 5 Boy Van Poppel (Ned, UnitedHealthcare) 8pts UNISON Best Young Rider 1 Jelle Wallays (Bel, Topsport Vlaanderen) Combativity Award: Jonathan Tiernan Locke (GB, Rapha Condor Sharp)
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.