PA Sport

Who is Josh Edmondson?

Who is Josh Edmondson?
By PA Sport

17/03/2017 at 03:10

When Josh Edmondson signed a two-year deal with Team Sky in 2013, he was a 20-year-old climber with a spring in his step and a clear path to the top.

The team had just delivered on its promise to win a Tour de France with a British rider two years earlier than scheduled, its star riders Sir Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome looked set to keep winning and boss Sir Dave Brailsford had recently presided over another dominant Olympic performance by Team GB's riders.

EARLY CAREER

Edmondson, Brailsford said at the time, had been on the team's radar for a couple seasons, having come through the GB Olympic development set-up before moving to an Italian amateur team.

At 18, the Leeds-born rider finished fourth in the 2010 Junior World Championship road race but his real breakthrough came in 2012, when he finished 10th at the Giro della Valle d'Aosta, a tough week-long race won by a 22-year-old Fabio Aru, a future Grand Tour winner.

TEAM SKY

An aggressive ride at the 2012 Tour of Britain in GB colours sealed Edmondson's move to Team Sky and he joined the following season with the winner of that race, another upwardly-mobile Brit Jonathan Tiernan-Locke.

Bright start

The latter never produced the goods in Team Sky colours and would leave in disgrace a year later thanks to a suspicious blood test but Edmondson started life on the world's best road racing squad brightly.

Always happiest when the terrain was lumpy, he rode well in his first stage race, the Tour of the Algarve, and enjoyed good outings at the USA Pro Challenge and Japan Cup.

Later struggles

But the proverbial wheels started to come off in 2014 as his race card began to be littered with DNFs - did not finish. There was talk of injuries and a struggle to cope with the workload demanded by Brailsford and Team Sky's coaches.

He showed a hint of form at the Tour of Austria in July, to revive hopes of an extended contract, but his last outing for Sky was finished in 110th place at the Tour of Poland in August.

Even so, his exit from the team was a bit of surprise, considering his age and Sky's stated aim of developing British talent - but the spin was that this was a temporary step backwards for a talent who could come again.

POST-CHAIN REACTION STINT

That looked possible for a while in 2015, as Edmondson rediscovered his zest at Irish team An Post-Chain Reaction.

A decent ride at the first Tour de Yorkshire was followed by a stage win in Azerbaijan and a second overall at the An Post Ras, or Tour of Ireland. A month later, he would win a stage and the general classification at the Ronde de l'Oise in France.

FTO PRO CYCLING

But once again fitness, form and fortune failed him. A move to British team NFTO did not produce the results he wanted and when the team went bust in October he found himself without a ride and had the look of an athlete whose future was behind him.

It now, however, appears there was much more to his troubles at Team Sky and he may have brighter prospects after all.

0
0