Mark Renshaw and Rigoberto Uran sign for Mark Cavendish's Omega Pharma - Quick-Step

By Matt Westby.   Last Updated: 01/08/13 3:38pm

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Mark Renshaw, right, helped Mark Cavendish, left, to a spree of Tour de France wins between 2009 and 2011

Mark Renshaw, right, helped Mark Cavendish, left, to a spree of Tour de France wins between 2009 and 2011

Omega Pharma - Quick-Step have confirmed the signings of Mark Renshaw and Rigoberto Urán for the 2014 and 2015 seasons.

Renshaw will join from Belkin and take up the role of Mark Cavendish's chief lead-out rider, while Urán will move from Team Sky on the back of his runner-up finish in the Giro d'Italia.

Cavendish and Renshaw dovetailed to devastating effect during their time together at the team latterly known as HTC-Highroad, with the Australian providing a reliable launchpad for Cavendish's 16 Tour de France wins between 2009 and 2011.

He later moved to Rabobank ahead of the 2012 season in a bid to contest for wins himself, but has failed to deliver victories and will now return to lead-out duties as Omega Pharma - Quick-Step look to bolster a sprint train that has struggled for consistency throughout the current campaign.

Renshaw said: "After a couple of years apart, riding on the same team as my good friend Mark Cavendish again is something I am going to enjoy. It will be great returning to lead-out duties, fighting for victories with Cav."

Uran won stage 10 of this year's Giro d'Italia

Quick-Step team manager Patrick Lefevere said: "Mark [Renshaw] is one of the most appreciated riders in his work as a lead-out man. His arrival is important to improve our potential in the preparation and execution of sprints for Cavendish, whom he already knows quite well."

Shifting emphasis

Uran's arrival is likely to be less well received by Cavendish, as it hints Omega Pharma - Quick-Step have ambitions to become general classification contenders at stage races, rather than solely targeting sprint wins.

The Colombian proved himself as one of the best climbers in the world at the May's Giro, winning a summit finish on stage 10, but has had his path towards the leadership of Team Sky at races such as the Tour de France blocked by Chris Froome and Sir Bradley Wiggins.

Lefevere added: "Rigoberto's arrival reinforces our team as far as the major tours are concerned. Urán is a top rider and his talent on climbs goes without saying."

Omega Pharma - Quick-Step earlier announced the signing of veteran Italian sprinter Alessandro Petacchi for the remainder of the 2013 season.

The 39-year-old had retired in April, but has been lured back to act as lead-out rider for Cavendish and Tom Boonen.

Petacchi, who won six stages at the Tour de France, will make his comeback at the Kortrijk criterium in Belgium on August 8.

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