Cyclist out of TDF for headbutt

2010-07-15 18:38

Bourge-Les-Valence - Australian Mark Renshaw paid the price for his team's win-at-all-costs approach to the Tour de France 11th stage on Thursday when he was excluded from the race for headbutting.

VIDEO: Mark Renshaw trying to headbutt Julian Dean

Renshaw, the lead-out man for HTC-Columbia team-mate Mark Cavendish, played a crucial role in Cavendish's six stage wins on the race last year.

But in the final 500m of the 184.5km stage from Sisteron, the normally affable Australian lost his head when he tried to headbutt Garmin-Transitions' Kiwi lead-out man Julian Dean three times.

Cavendish eventually raced on towards his third stage win of the race, and 13th of his career, as Renshaw then produced another blatant blunder by trying to block Dean's sprinter, Tyler Farrar, as the American tried to come up the inside of the barriers.

Top race official Jean-Francois Pescheux said they only needed to look at the television pictures once to make their decision.

"Renshaw was declassified immediately but we have decided to also throw him off the race," said Pescheux.

"We've only seen the pictures once, but his actions are plain for all to see. They were blatant. This is a bike race, not a gladiator's arena."

Television pictures appear to show Dean getting very close to Renshaw as he tried to bring Farrar into position, although elbows and shoulders are certainly not unknown to clash in the hotly-contested bunch sprints.

For Dean, a former team-mate of Renshaw's at Credit Agricole, Renshaw's actions were simply uncalled for.

However, the Kiwi suggested it was Renshaw's second error, closing the door on Farrar, that was most dangerous.

"All the other (HTC-Columbia) guys were fine, it was just Renshaw's behaviour that was inappropriate," said Dean.

"I jumped my front wheel in Cav's wheel. I went past Renshaw and tried to keep the speed high and while I was coming out of Renshaw, he didn't seem to like it too much.

"I didn't make any momvent at all. Next thing I felt like he was leaning on me and hitting me with his head.

"And then he carried on afterwards and came across on Tyler's line and stopped Tyler from possibly winning the stage. He shouldn't have done that. It's not appropriate.

"It's dangerous behaviour and if there had been a crash there it would have caused some guys some serious damage.

"What we do is very dangerous and we don't need behaviour like that to make it even more dangerous."

Speaking before being informed of the decision, Renshaw claimed he had been in danger of being put into the barriers by Dean; a claim that television pictures did not appear to corroborate.

"The guy (Dean) came across me... either he keeps turning left, puts me in the barrier and I crash, or I try to lean against him.

"I didn't have another option. It's all about sprinting straight."


  • George - 2010-07-15 18:47

    Good, I love it, what a sick "sportsman" Wonder which country he is from ?\ FIFA can learn from this.....this is what should happen to idiots who "engage" in "professional fouls.

  • Joe - 2010-07-15 19:01

    Also a 9 wek suspension ?

  • Just shows you - 2010-07-15 19:26

    Me wonders why the New Zealanders seem to drive sportsmen to headbutt them. One should watch out for these NZs. They seem to get away with provocation........ ?????

  • Kurajas - 2010-07-15 19:39

    "Renshaw's behaviour that was inappropriate," LOL u think? The rider can be lucky it wasnt Bakkies!

  • Tommo - 2010-07-15 20:05

    Bakkies cousin on a bike?

  • Shorts - 2010-07-15 20:23

    Good riddance. An absolutely disgraceful and disgusting display, and in full view of the cameras. He should be banned from any professional cycling indefinitely.

  • Van - 2010-07-16 06:43

    I just love all these news reports that state Renshaw tried to headbutt Julian Dean. He didn't try, he did it. It looks like he landed a few blows so I'd say he successsfuly headbutted Dean. No? Look, there has always been a bit of bumping during sprints but Renshaw took it waaaaay to far. Let's see how good the Manx Missile is now that he has lost his bouncer :)

  • Track Rider - 2010-07-16 07:25

    You can clearly see from the guys who has given their comments that they abviously has never ridden on the track. possibly never watched an event on the track either. Boys!!! that's what real sprinting is about! Deal with it or get out!!! If you have really contested a REAL sprint, DONT COMMENT!

  • wood - 2010-07-16 07:48

    whats the point of helmets if you can headbutt?

  • @Track Rider - 2010-07-16 07:57

    Sadly these guys were not on a track yesterday but in full view of millions of people around the globe. As with hot headed Bakkies' actions, you have to be accountable for them. I didn't realise headbutting was accepted in track riding? Just like a club rugby player may get away with a headbutt or two, it's not going to happen when there are 45 international cameras on your every move...wake up Renshaw (and Bakkies for that matter)...STYAAPAD move boys.

  • Shane@TrackRider - 2010-07-16 08:14

    TrackRider, you are a knob! Don't think that just because someone has never taken part in a sport they do not have the right to comment on something in the public arena. Maybe you got too many headbutts while under achieving on the cycling track?

  • Roger - 2010-07-16 08:26

    Loser, suspend this loser for the next 2 years

  • Johan - 2010-07-16 08:30

    The Garmin leadout guy for Farrah came in on Renshaw, I don't think he had a choice but to push him away again. At 65-70km/h, you DON'T take your hands off the bars, so your head is all you have left to use. PS: Non-cyclists shouldn't comment, you have no idea what you are talking about.

  • TheGrem - 2010-07-16 08:35

    Hey Track Rider, If head butting is allowed on the tracks you ride on, then I am glad I am not a track racer anymore. What Renshaw was dispicable in any sport. Glad he was kicked out.

  • Buff - 2010-07-16 08:38

    There day that there's headbutting the boy from the west rand (Robbie Hunter) isn't there to enjoy it!!!! Where's the fairness in this world!!! It was a dangerous move for sure, but that's the life of a sprinter. Relegation = for sure, Exclusion = that's rough.

  • Larry@Track Rider - 2010-07-16 08:39

    Track Rider.. Unless you are blind or a bit crazy, it might be worthwhile to note that this was NOT A TRACK CYCLING EVENT. On the road you do not lean in to or head but your competition in the finishing straight. So unfortunately asking all who choose to comment on a road racing incident to first qualify by sprinting on a track seems a bit absurd or at best somewhat uninformed. Perhaps you should stick to the track where from your comments head buts are run of the mill incidents.

  • Larry@Track Rider - 2010-07-16 08:40

    Track Rider.. Unless you are blind or a bit crazy, it might be worthwhile to note that this was NOT A TRACK CYCLING EVENT. On the road you do not lean in to or head but your competition in the finishing straight. So unfortunately asking all who choose to comment on a road racing incident to first qualify by sprinting on a track seems a bit absurd or at best somewhat uninformed. Perhaps you should stick to the track where from your comments head buts are run of the mill incidents.

  • Troll - 2010-07-16 08:41

    @ Track Rider.I wonder why you want people who HAVE contested a real sprint, NOT to comment? To many head-butt perhaps? And....this was not a track race but a road race just in case you missed that. So you are saying real sprinting includes head-butting and not keeping your line? Thank goodness you are not a UCI ref/judge.

  • @Track rider - 2010-07-16 08:44

    K** man! Its all elbows and pushing on track I agree, but blatant headbutt? Three times! On TV with millions able to watch the recording? Good riddance NZ powderpuff.

  • Pat @ Track Rider - 2010-07-16 08:52

    You must be so chuffed you finally get to throw 10c's worth in here about track riding. But guy, this isn't track. This is TDF. There's a lot more at stake than riding around a silly incline for a little while. Maybe you need to take off a testosterone patch or 2, let your b@lls get some air...!

  • Spartan - 2010-07-16 08:55

    Amazing, just days after Bakkies killed of the last of his braincells by headbutting Cowan, others are emulating his thuggery. Mind you, after seeing that toothless drunk Aussie on TV last night,trying to feed a 5m croch his leg, I've got to tell you, I think the Aussies are just as dumb, if not dumber than the likes of Bakkies.

  • Guzz - 2010-07-16 09:15

    Track Rider, WTF dude? How can you compare the Tour to a track race? Do you see Lance spinning round in circles around the Arc de Triomphe? Okay, if you can do on the Tour what they do on a track then we must take the brakes off the bikes too... Very pretty picture... I think it's a bit harsh to disqualify the guy, maybe a declassification would've sufficed. But then again, why would he want to carry on after being declassified.

  • the prodigy - 2010-07-16 09:19

    @track rider....hahaha, you must have a great track record, even the commentator (Phil Liggit) was saying that this incident was disgracefull, & I think he knows a little bit more than you do about cycling, are you a Bulls supporter by any chance?

  • Another track rider - 2010-07-16 09:29

    I agree with track rider, this is what it is all about. Dean moved across Renshaw and he reacted to avoid being boxed his actions how dangerous it might seem to the inexperienced avoided entangling and a definite crash. Excellent work Renshaw. Nothing wrong with head budding in track sprints to stop a guy from moving across you. The referees acted to harsh on this one which I think is uncalled for in an event of this size.

  • spokes - 2010-07-16 09:30

    All they nedeed was for Robbie Hunter to join in and they would have had the TDF version of the Tr-Nations....

  • Bring back Bakkies! - 2010-07-16 09:47

    Bakkies you should join cycling mate!

  • brad - 2010-07-16 10:01

    A head butt yes, but a nice little cycling one that didn't do any harm from a 68kg chap with a helmet on to another chap with a helmet on.The first guy was closing him in and leaning on him and closing in Cavendish behind him. He knew exactly what he was doing. It was his job to push him back. That what he is employed to due and what he trains the whole year for, to get Cavendish to the front with 40m to go and clear space for him. Not quite a 115kg Afrikaner Bakkies headbutt :)

  • Toy - 2010-07-16 10:33

    @brad you are an uniformed moron

  • Jawellnofine - 2010-07-16 10:49

    Lets see how much Cavendish features now. I like!!!!

  • @Track Rider - 2010-07-16 11:06

    You're moron!!!

  • Anti - 2010-07-16 12:14

    Bakkies' Ozzy mate!

  • AL @ Track Rider - 2010-07-16 14:15

    Big comments from a 50kg cyclist. HAHAHAHA

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