Mark Renshaw is part of a strong Tour Down Under field

WHEN the 20th edition of the Tour Down Under commences on Tuesday, Mark Renshaw will be working to help team-mate Tom Jelte Slagter to his second overall win in the annual Adelaide event.

THREAT: Mark Renshaw thinks defending champion and fellow Australian Richie Porte deserves Tour Down Under favouritism. Photo: JOHN VEAGE

THREAT: Mark Renshaw thinks defending champion and fellow Australian Richie Porte deserves Tour Down Under favouritism. Photo: JOHN VEAGE

But standing in his way is a talented peloton which includes a world champion, defending champion and former winners.

The Tour Down Under, which Jelte Slagte won in 2013 when riding alongside Renshaw for Blanco Pro Cycling, features over 800 kilometres of racing split into six stages.

This year the pair form part of the Dimension Data outfit, with Jelte Slagte stating “We are here to race for the victory, or at least the best possible result we can achieve.”

“I have good memories from 2013 and I was here last year as well, so I think with this team we can do a really good job and I am ready for it too.”

Renshaw will do all he can to help his team-mate, but he feels favouritism belongs to fellow Australian Richie Porte.

He won last year’s tour and heads into the event after a solid 14th – finishing with the peloton – in the Cycling Australia elite men’s road race at nationals.

“I think Richie is in really good form, he probably didn't show all his cards in the national road race. He'll be going quite well and I'd probably pick him to win it,” Renshaw said.

“Apart from that, Peter Sagan is coming out. He’s just won the world championship and he’s always a class rider, so he’ll be up around the pointy end.

“Between those two they should win a fair few stages.”