FOR some in this year’s Tour de France the stage three team time trial was a vital chance to chase seconds for general classification hopefuls, but it was a different focus for Mark Renshaw’s Dimension Data outfit.
For the Bathurst talent and his seven team-mates, the 35.5 kilometre race against the clock in Cholet was about getting through safely and saving some energy for the sprint stages to come.
Riding at what cycling commentator and three-time Tour de France green jersey winner Robbie McEwen estimated to be “a 90 percent effort”, Dimension Data finished in 20th spot.
Their effort was one minute, 52 seconds off the time clocked by stage winners BMC (38.46), but Renshaw’s outfit still averaged 52.4 kilometres for the distance.
The clock for each team was stopped after the fourth rider crossed the line, which saw number of outfits drop riders as they blazed through the undulating course and against cross winds.
Dimension Data reached the finish with seven in a solid performance.
“It was a nice course today, really fast. We did a good recon of the stage, so we got through the stage safely which was the most important aspect for us,” Renshaw’s team-mate Julien Vermote said.
“You always need to go just that bit harder in a team time trial and it is a technical discipline, but we were able to get through it well.
“Tomorrow’s stage is really important for us so that is our next key objective.”