Alex Edmondson utilised his track skills in the Tour de Romandie prologue with the Orica-Scott rider showing little concern for the wet course riding to third place. Edmondson, 23, knocked Primoz Roglic (LottoNL-Jumbo) off the hot seat before Fabio Felline (Trek-Segafredo) blasted the course to set the new fastest time.
Although last man off Alex Dowsett (Movistar) bettered Edmondson's time the Australian did enough to claim his first WorldTour podium result, seven seconds down on Felline, and the lead in the best young rider classification.
“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," said the team sports director Neil Stephens. "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."
The prologue is the just the second of Edmondson's professional career following his sixth place at last year's Tour de Luxembourg but at 4.8km the Romandie test against the clock was substantially longer. While familiar with 4km efforts from his career on the track, the technical and wet course posed several challenges for Edmondson. Particularly as the plan to start early backfired.
"It was raining a lot at the start. 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," added Stephens.
"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."
Stephens was also buoyed by the performances of Damien Howson, Simon Yates and Jack Haig in the short test against the clock to ensure the overall aspirations of Orica-Scott remain in place.
With Stage 1 of the Tour de Romandie to finish with a category one climb to Champéry, Edmondson will return to team duty for Orica-Scott on a day for the climbers.