Kenny Elissonde fights to third in Tour de l’Ain Stage 2

King Kenny put on a brave display on the Col de Portes to also move onto the GC podium

How it happened

Two earlier climbs had softened up the peloton before they reached the Col de Portes, which was ridden at a hard pace from the bottom. Just over five kilometers to the summit, Kenny and teammate Amanuel Ghebreigzabhier followed a dangerous looking move, which was then countered, leaving three riders in front and Kenny fighting and succeeding to bridge across to them. The quartet worked well, but it was clear that Kenny was on the limit after the effort he made to join the group. An acceleration by Michael Storer put King Kenny in trouble, and he was left to claw his way to the summit, alone. The diminutive climber maintained a gap of around 10 seconds to the leaders, but equally important was the remnants of the peloton behind. A slick descent, after earlier rainfall, stood between Kenny and solid result. Carthy had crashed already, moving Kenny into third position, but he came unstuck on the final corner and had a little spill. Fortunately, he was able to quickly remount and held onto his third place, only losing a small amount of skin in the process. Not far behind, Julien Bernard lead the chasing group over the line to take fourth place.

King Kenny’s reaction

We knew that EF had a strong squad so we were keeping an eye on them, ready for when they would attack. When Carthy went I chased him, then Cepeda countered and we found ourselves as a group of four in front. I was a close to the limit and on the last little ramp I dropped 50 meters.
Then, on the downhill it was going ok but I had made a little mistake with the tire pressure. I thought it would be a dry day and I had too much pressure. With 500 meters to go I saw that Storer and Cepeda were looking at each other. I was 100m behind and I wanted to come from behind with speed but I crashed in the last corner so I had to settle with 3rd at the end.

Photos of the day

From Sprint Cycling