Elissonde lands first podium

02 Feb 2017

Elissonde lands first podium

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Kenny Elissonde recorded his first podium finish for Team Sky after finishing third following a brave breakaway on stage one of the Herald Sun Tour.

The Frenchman finished behind Damien Howson (Orica-Scott) and Jai Hindley (Australian National team) on a gruelling 174.5 kilometre stage which ended with the brutal Falls Creek climb.

Elissonde and Howson had earlier launched a daring break with 17.5 kilometres to go which saw them easily catch an earlier breakaway and go clear of the peloton as the end neared.

And despite attempts to reel them in, the pair stayed away until the closing kilometres when Howson attacked broke clear and Hindley bridged the gap to finish second. 
Kenny Elissonde

Kenny Elissonde

I was given a license to go out and maybe get the win but I was a bit off the pace off the end
A disappointed Elissonde revealed that the just ran out of legs in the closing stages, allowing Howson to go clear. He told TeamSky.com: “I blew up right at the end.

“I was given a license to go out and maybe get the win but I was a bit off the pace off the end.

“It’s nice to be there, but I would prefer Chris [Froome] to win today, instead of me being third."

He added: “It was a really difficult stage.”
Brett Lancaster

Brett Lancaster

We've got some hard days coming up so we'll shake it up and see what happens. It's not over yet.
Sport Director Brett Lancaster said: "Everything was going to plan. Ian [Stannard] rode strongly all day and Orica had a rider up front too. They had the same idea as us I think, which was to let the best man win - we thought that would be either Chris [Froome] or Esteban [Chaves].

"Kenny did what he was asked to do but unfortunately the race radio wasn't the best so communication was tough, but [Damien] Howson was stronger on the day out of those two guys. 

Despite the setback, Lancaster refused to concede defeat, adding: "We've got some hard days coming up though so we'll shake it up and see what happens. It's not over yet."

He added: "It will be very tricky to get over a minute on Howson but it's bike racing and Froomey is one of the best bike riders in the world. We'll never give up. It's not over until the fat lady sings.
Stage One Result:
1. Damien Howson (Orica-Scott) 4:33:54
2. Jai Hindley (Australia national team) +32
3. Kenny Elissonde (Team Sky) +47
4. Michael Storer (Australia national team) + 1”03
5. Esteban Chaves (Orica-Scott) 1”10
6. Chris Froome (Team Sky) 1”11

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