DAY four of this year’s Tour de France may not have brought with it the stage win Mark Renshaw and his team had been hoping for, yet there was still a feel of optimism.
The 195-kilometre stage from La Baule to Sarzeau was, as expected, decided by a sprint finish.
Renshaw and his Dimension Data team-mates did what they could set try and set up their sprinter Mark Cavendish, but it was Fernando Gaviria (Quickstep) who took the honours.
Cavendish got boxed out and had to settle for 21st spot, but the signs were promising as he hunts for the 31st Tour de France stage win of his career.
“The team rode really well in the final five kilometres with all the guys getting together in the last four and half kilometers to put Cav in a good position,” Renshaw, who rolled across the line in 107th, said.
“We rode exactly how we wanted and how we had planned this morning. We knew the finish would be uphill, so we kept him to the left side and out of trouble.
“We got inside the final kilometre and then he just missed the jump when the guys went, but we’re happy the team rode really well and got the positioning right.”
Cavendish had sat on Renshaw’s wheel inside the final kilometre, but lost that spot as his rivals pressured
“I always said when we came here, we'd be up against it, but we keep trying,” Cavendish said.