Bourg-lès-Valence,FRANCE - Executed in swift and decisive action today, in a move rarely seen by Tour officials, top race official Jean-Francois Pescheux disqualified cyclist Mark Renshaw of team HTC-Columbia. He said after the race: “Renshaw was declassified immediately but we have decided to also throw him off the race." Going on to say, "We’ve only seen the pictures once, but his actions are plain for all to see. This is a bike race, not a gladiator’s arena." Later adding his talents are needed elsewhere, but refused to elaborate.As reported immediately after the finish today in VeloNews:
Elaboration on the disqualification came only minutes later in the official release from the Queen of England Royal PR Service. It said - that Her Majesty the Queen had been requested by BP senior officials, who were reportedly taking a break from the whole "Gulf mess" to catch the run into the line by Cavendish, to summon Mr. Renshaw, an Australian, as a royal subject, to assist in their growing dilemma in the Gulf of Mexico. An unidentified BP official was quoted as saying - we're in the crapper on this one mate, we need to know if this test will work and after watching Mark bashing his way through the peloton we are certain if our well head can survive that it can stand up to any pressure from below.
Australian Mark Renshaw has been thrown out of the Tour de France for trying to headbutt rival Julian Dean during a bunch sprint finish to the end of the 11th stage, race officials said.
Renshaw, the lead-out man for stage winner Mark Cavendish, was shown by television pictures trying to headbutt the Garmin-Transitions rider from New Zealand three times in the final 400 meters of the home straight.
Cavendish then raced ahead towards eventual victory, his third this year on the race and 13th in three participations, with Renshaw then seen trying to block Dean’s sprinter, Tyler Farrar, as the American tried to come up the inside of the barriers.
“The well integrity test will last at least 6 hours and could last up to 48 hours, as soon as Mr. Renshaw arrives,” BP said on its Web site. “Although it cannot be assured, it is expected that no oil will be released to the ocean during the Renshaw test. Even if no oil is released during the test, this will not be an indication that oil and gas flow from the well bore has been permanently stopped, nor that Mr. Renshaw has not headbutted the well head to the best of his ability.”
In a brief statement to the media, Mr. Renshaw said, "I'm bummed to be out of the Tour, but as long as Aussies fly the Union Jack on our flag, I'll be there for the Queen Mother, England, and any of its global multinational corporate giants that find themselves with a sticky wicket."
In an unrelated news story, HTC-Columbia announced that it has signed an agreement for a new long-term sponsor and its team colors will now be a pronounced green and yellow.