Mark Renshaw and the Iroquois. Nope, he didn’t just make a last second switch from Rabobank to the East coast tribe.
We were reminded of the Iroquois indians when we read the latest on Renshaw as he approaches the new season as lead sprinter, not lead-out. He’ll be racing against Mark Cavendish for the first time instead of dropping him off 250 meters from the finish.
“He’s been so successful because we’ve always had him in the perfect position in every race,” said Renshaw. “Next year we might see a little bit more, I don’t like to say it, but a little bit more chaos in the sprints. I don’t enjoy them but I think there will be quite a few teams as strong as one another and that’s why it will even out.”
It’s not just the chaos that Renshaw will need to win. The Bulldog from Bathurst will have to get as nasty with Cavendish as he used to when keeping other sprinters off the HTC- Highroad train.
Is Renshaw prepared to head-butt the Manxman? Is he ready to stick an elbow in, bang Cav’s handlebars, give him a hip-check at 65kph?
That brings us to the beautifully written story by Sports Illustrated’s M.L. Price about the Iroquois and their deep cultural attachment to the game they invented — lacrosse. They play the game with a toughness that scares opponents.
Price quotes a player retelling what an Iroquois coach preached to his team. “If you’re playing against your best friend and you don’t cross-check him or you let him pick up a ground ball, I don’t care if he’s your best friend, you go hit him,” the Indian coach said. The game’s meant to be rough.”
Everyone in pro cycling knows Renshaw is a tough guy. He’s shown time and time again in the Tour de France that he’s prepared to do whatever it takes to get Cavendish a win.
The question now becomes, how far will he go to get his own win?