Edmondson races to his first WorldTour podium in the Tour de Romandie prologueTue 25 Apr 2017
Track star Alex Edmondson raced to third place in today’s opening prologue at the Tour de Romandie - his first WorldTour podium placing.
The ORICA-SCOTT rider showed his explosive power and track background to blast around the 4.8kilometre route and hold onto the fastest time for a large proportion of the race.
In the end, Fabio Felline (Trek-Segafredo) stopped the clock seven seconds quicker to steal the victory with the final rider to start, Alex Dowsett (Movistar), pushing Edmondson down to third spot.
Sport director Neil Stephens praised the 23-year-old’s efforts, producing a well paced and executed ride in the challenging rainy conditions.
“Alex rode really well today, he did a video recon before, he checked the race profiles and trained on the course so he was well prepared.” Stephens said.
"I think it will be the first of many WorldTour podiums, he is a very talented bike rider so I think we will see more from him.”
To add to the difficulty of the short, sharp lung busting prologue, rainy weather conditions made it a technical races as much as a powerful physical effort.
“It was raining a lot at the start,” Stephens continued. “We and other team’s chose to put certain riders at the start as we expected to have the best weather but in fact it turned out to be the worst.”
“However in all reality the winner Felline also had wet conditions, so hats off to him he had tough conditions and still took the victory.”
ORICA-SCOTT finished the day with four riders in the top thirty which enables the main overall contenders to stay very much in contention with a hard five-day battle ahead.
“We are also really happy with our general classification riders,” Stephens stated. “They are all well placed around the mark along with Edmondson so it was a really positive first day for us overall.”
How it happened:
The riders assembled in Aigle ready for the opening race of the 2017 edition of the Swiss tour. Despite pleasant conditions in the morning, by the time racing began it was rain and wet roads to add to the challenge ahead.
Edmondson was the first rider down the ramp for ORICA-SCOTT and set a blistering pace around the short course to stop the clock with a time of six minutes and four seconds to move into the race lead.
One by one, riders set off down the ramp and completed the distance, pacing up the tough one and a half kilometre drag and descending down to the twisty concluding kilometres.
After the first 50 riders had finished, Edmondson still remained in the hot seat but it was the Italian rider who changed the young Australians fate as he snatched the race lead with a time of five minutes and 57seconds.
Damien Howson finished in 20th place with a time of six minutes and 12seconds with Simon Yates also producing a solid ride to finishing in 25th spot, which keeps them in close contention with the many other GC contenders.
With his impressive third place finish, Edmondson moves into the lead of the young rider classification and will wear the white young riders jersey.
Tomorrow the first road stage concludes with a first category climb after 160kilometres of racing.
Tour de Romandie prologue results:
1. Fabio Felline (Trek-Segafredo) 5:57
2. Alex Dowsett (Movistar) +0:02
3. Alex Edmondson (ORICA-SCOTT) +0:07
Photos courtesy of ©TDWsport.com