No train for Renshaw
Rabobank’s sprinter Mark Renshaw will largely be fending for himself in the bunch sprints.
Riders such Tankink and Maarten Tjallingii will try to put the Aussie sprinter on a good wheel in the closing kilometers, but what’s sure is that he will not have anything resembling a leadout train for the mass gallops.
“We don’t bring a guy who can pull the sprints for him, but Mark knows what the situation is,” Breukink said. “There are a lot of guys for the GC, so it’s difficult to also take guys for the sprints. He can find his way. He’s good at staying on the wheel, so we are hopeful he can win a stage.”
Renshaw has only won once so far this season, but has posted seven top-three finishes in the bunch sprints in his first full season as the top finisher since his move from High Road to Rabobank this year.
Breukink says the team has full confidence in Renshaw.
“We are very satisfied with Mark, otherwise he would not be on the Tour team,” Breukink said. “He fits in well with the team. He’s a good team player and brings a lot of experience to help the younger riders. He’s very well adapted to do many things and that’s another reason he’s on the team. It’s not just for the sprints.”
A course for specialists
Breukink admits Rabobank will be racing on its heels during this year’s Tour, when the presence of more than 100km of individual time trials tilts the advantage away from climbers such as Gesink.
“This course is a big disadvantage for the climbers. With guys like Evans and Wiggins on a high level, they can take more time on the climbers in the time trials than the climbers can take in the mountains,” he said. “We will see how Wiggins goes. He’s been on a very high level for a long time. Can he stay at that level for three more weeks? You cannot have the form for the whole year. We will see what happens.”
Breukink said the climbers like Gesink will have to make the most of the opportunities that present themselves over the three weeks. He says it might not always be in the most obvious of places.
“We have to see how the race develops. Every day counts in the Tour. You have to be there from the prologue to the last day. You have to take your chances when they’re there and then try again,” he said. “It will be an exciting Tour. I don’t think everyone is just going to wait until the time trials.”