British rider Josh Edmondson has taken his first victory for his new An Post-Chain Reaction team, claiming the third stage of the Tour d’Azerbaidjan on Friday.
Edmondson attacked in the finale of the stage to take a solo win, but only just – Slovenian Marco Kump (Adria Mobil) was hot on his heels, finishing in second place just one second behind the 22 year old from Leeds. Edmondson expressed his surprise at the stage win, saying via Twitter: “Wasn’t expecting that to work! Normally my daft attacks don’t work out. Bloody glad it did though!”
Edmondson now moves up to fifth place overall, notably just one place behind 2013 Vuelta Espana winner Chris Horner (Airgas Safeway Cycling). Slovenian Primož Oglič (Adria Mobil) leads the race overall after winning stage two.
Edmondson went into the five-day Tour d’Azerbaidjan fresh from riding in the Great Britain team at last week’s Tour de Yorkshire, where he finished in 22nd place overall. Edmondson rode for Team Sky in 2013 and 2014, but found himself without a contract for 2015 after not fully fitting into the team’s way of doing things.
“It was good most of the time but then certain things weren’t quite right for me,” Edmondson told Cycling Weekly of his time with Sky. “It was just a bit of a clash.”
An Post-Chain Reaction signed Edmondson for the remainder of the 2015 season in March, a decision that they must now be celebrating. “After a couple of years playing a team role at Sky I’m looking forward to racing aggressively and perhaps being able to race more in a style that suits me,” Edmondson said after signing for the Irish Continental-level team.
The 2015 Tour d’Azerbaidjan concludes on Sunday in Baku.