BEFORE the start of this year’s Tour de France, Bathurst cyclist Mark Renshaw said the odds of avoiding a crash were not good.
But in a crash-marred opening two stages – defending champion Chris Froome and last year’s green jersey winner Michael Matthews amongst those who have hit the deck – Renshaw has stayed upright.
It is important given the challenges which lie ahead in the 21-stage epic.
“Look, the odds are against you not crashing, but you can try to stay upright,” Renshaw said.
“I’ve had plenty of bad luck, so it’s about time I get some good luck now.”
The Bathurst talent forms part of Dimension Data’s eight-man team for the 105th edition of the the tour, their goal not to contest any of the outright classification jerseys but instead hunt for stage wins.
On the opening two days the African outfit had hoped to help star sprinter Mark Cavendish to victory, but disorganisation on stage one then getting held up behind a crash on Sunday has seen them miss out.
The team had been positioned to challenge for the honours in the 182.5km second stage from Mouilleron-Saint-Germain to La Roche-sur-Yon.
After the peloton had reeled in Sylvain Chavanel, who spent most of the day alone in front, the Dimension Data riders worked to set up Cavendish for a technical finish.
But as the sprint trains hit a final right-hand corner with 2km to go and riders such as then yellow jersey holder Fernando Gaviria crashed, Renshaw and his team-mates were caught up behind them.
While a group of some 15 riders were positioned ahead of the crash and went on to contest the bunch sprint – world champion Peter Sagan taking the honours in four hours, six minutes and 37 seconds – Cavendish had to settle for 35th. Renshaw crossed the line in 75th.
“The only good thing today was that we all stayed on our bikes and we are able to fight again another day,” Renshaw’s team-mate Edvald Boasson-Hagen said.
More chances for Cavendish will come after the third stage 35.5km team time trial in Cholet.