Cyclist Renshaw 'man of the day' on Tour de France
ISSOUDUN: Australian Mark Renshaw might not be winning stages on this year's Tour de France, but his name is certainly getting plenty of air time.
As the Tour de France resumed following Monday's first rest day Renshaw again played a crucial role in helping set up Columbia teammate Mark Cavendish during the tricky finish to the 194.5 km 10th stage.
After winning the second and third stages Cavendish again proved too strong for Norwegian rival Thor Hushovd, who finished second to claim 30 points which allowed him to keep the points competition's green jersey with a six-point cushion over Cavendish.
The Isle of Man sprinter now has seven stage wins from only three participations and is only one shy of equalling the British record of eighth held by Barry Hoban.
"Mark Renshaw for me is the man of the day," Cavendish said after picking up his 16th win of the season.
"It was a technical finish, slightly uphill and very twisty, but Mark did a great job for me taking me through those last corners. Really all I had to do was finish off his work.
"It's an important victory for me. I wanted to prove today that I didn't come through the Pyrenees for nothing, and the team rode brilliantly for me again."
Italian Rinaldo Nocentini of AG2R retained the race leader's yellow jersey with his six-second lead on pre-race favourite Alberto Contador intact.
The Spaniard's Astana teammate, seven-time champion Lance Armstrong, is third overall, eight seconds behind, as the race heads gradually towards the Vosges' medium-mountains stages on Friday.
The first Tour stage for nearly 15 years to be held entirely without the radio earpieces, through which team managers can communicate with their riders, was expected to set the scene for some unexpected race drama.
However, there was a distinct lack of excitement after a four-man group broke away early in the 194.5 km stage between Limoges to Issoudun - the bunch simply toyed with them before employing their collective force to up the tempo in the final kilometres.
Renshaw was one of several riders who said the decision to ban race radios only resulted in "neutralising" the stage.
But despite enduring technical problems of his own, it made no difference as he succeeded in leading Cavendish in through a dangerous finale as close to the line as possible.
"Today I managed to get him to around 200 (metres), I was pretty much on the limit but once I saw him go I knew he had the victory," said Renshaw, who admitted they had some key information from team members on the finish.
"We had some guys sitting at the finish for us so we knew we could take most corners full gas, besides one or two.
"I had a little trouble with my gears, they were jumping a bit in the finish although that's pretty normal in a finish like that.
"But I still had the power to keep Cav in front. I'm not sure what was happening behind but I'm sure it was pretty hairy."
Finishing 21st, Australia's Cadel Evan stayed out of trouble and avoided losing time after a late split in the peloton.
Among the general classification victims to have lost 15secs were Britain's Bradley Wiggins, American Levi Leipheimer and Russian Denis Menchov.
"It was a relaxed stage, finally we had some time to talk to the other riders," said Evans, seemingly happy at not having to wear a radio earpiece.
"There wasn't the stress of the team managers talking in your ear, sometimes that can drive you crazy."