Mark Renshaw continues telling the stories of his bikes: in part 3 of the ‘Pro Series’, he talks about the Specialized Venge from 2011. He also offers a few anecdotes about his time with the HTC-Highroad team.


– Click the link below to watch the video about Mark Renshaw’s Specialized Venge (2011). –



“I politely declined,” says Mark Renshaw about the offer from Specialized to race the new Venge in March 2011. He would later come to race this bike exclusively during his time with the HTC-Highroad team (forsaking other frames in the range in preference of the one-bike-for-all-races approach), but the initial rejection was based around timing.

Specialized originally asked him to race the Venge that was created as part of a collaboration with McLaren the day before Milan-Sanremo. But Mark, being a pragmatist on many levels – including equipment choice –  preferred to wait until he had time to test the new product before using it for his job.

As fate would have it, the bike would indeed be raced to victory in Milan-Sanremo that year; Matt Goss, a team-mate of Renshaw’s at the time, was one of a trio who was offered the Venge on the eve of the race. (The other rider was Mark Cavendish, of course.)

Goss and Cavendish, on the Specialized Venge during Milan-Sanremo in 2011. The pair from HTC-Highroad, along with Renshaw, were the only three riders given the chance to race the frame that had been developed in conjunction with McLaren. (Photo: Yuzuru Sunada)

As a pro cyclist Renshaw achieved considerable personal success but it was the work he did as a lead-out man that earned him his reputation as a team-mate of repute.

During his years with the HTC-Highroad team (2009-2011), he raced on Scott and Specialized bikes and although he’s hazy on the exact difference between the Foil and Venge frames, he does remember a lot of detail. The McLaren partnership, he says, did yield a few gains but perhaps the best bit about the link with Specialized is that Renshaw was invited to the pits during the Monaco Formula-One.

He’s a cyclist through and through, but Renshaw is a Bathurst boy, so there’s motorsport in his blood and he cherished the opportunity to hang out in the F1 pits.

There’s more to the ‘Story of my Bike’ series than talk about equipment alone and Renshaw is the perfect candidate for interviews such as these.

This is the third part of the ‘Pro Series’ and there’s more to come, so stay tuned. The bikes you see presented here by Renshaw are all hanging from the ceiling of his new bike shop in Bathurst, Renshaw’s Pedal Project. There’s also a surpising amount of stock on the showroom floor. So, if you’re in the market for a new bike, it might be worth making the trip – it may be a bike shop, but it doubles up as something of a cycling museum.


– By Rob Arnold



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