Published: 21 September 2012
Report: Scott Hobro
Image: Andy Whitehouse
Joshua Edmondson has described his recent experience competing in the colours of Great Britain as ‘like being in a different world’ as he prepares to race in the UCI Road World Championships on Saturday.
The Team Colpack rider, who is based in Italy, was called up as part of the six-man Great Britain team who took on the Tour of Britain last week, where he joined British Cycling Olympic Academy Programme riders for the 1,349km outing.
During the eight-day event, the 2010 Eddie Soens Memorial winner impressed, particularly on the hillier stages to Dartmouth and Caerphilly, eventually finishing a notable 16th in the general classification. The 21-year-old’s Great Britain journey is now continuing in Limburg, where he is currently in the final stages of preparation ahead of Saturday’s 161km under 23 men’s road race.
“It’s absolutely brilliant - it’s like being in a different world really,” Edmondson said. “The Tour of Britain was amazing - riding for the national team in the national tour. It’s an amazing year to do it after everything British cycling have done, the crowds and everything, it was great just to ride around in England.
“To come out of the back of that and straight to the worlds is great,” he added.
Whilst riders on the British Cycling Olympic Academy Programme have had a season which has included the UCI under 23 Nations’ Cup in their programme, Edmondson was on duty with Team Colpack in races including the Giro della Valle d'Aosta though he did compete June’s British Road Championships, placing 15th, the third highest under 23 rider.
“I didn’t know whether it was on the cards really,” Edmondson said on his selections. “I planned my year out in Italy with my team and stay in contact with people at British Cycling, Keith [Lambert] and Chris [Newton], and see what comes of it.”
Having been named in the initial long-list for the world championships and with only three places available, Edmondson’s exploits at the Tour of Britain enhanced his burgeoning reputation and alongside Simon Yates and Scott Thwaites he completes the Great Britain line-up.
“We were there and all a very young team,” Edmondson explained. “We all wanted to do something to just show ourselves in the race.”
“In a race like that it is nice to be able to do something - for the first part of the race it wasn’t really possible to show myself and then when it got a little bit harder towards the end it was nice to be able to put something into it.”
With a team of just three, Edmondson is well aware of the difficulty facing Great Britain’s riders. A course, however, which includes two climbs in the Bemelerberg Hill and the renowned Cauberg Hill does play to Edmondson’s strengths.
“The climbs aren’t too severe. Obviously I prefer something a little bit harder but it is a good course. The Cauberg is pretty difficult and we do it 11 times so it’s going to be a hard race.
“I think as there are just three of us it is going to be a case of looking after ourselves for a lot of it. We can always communicate when we are on the road and talk to each other.
“If anyone is feeling particularly good or depending on the race situation - if it whittles down and there is a few of us there - we can help one person.”
The under 23 men’s road race starts at 8am UK time on Saturday 22 September and is scheduled to finish around 12.15pm.