Elissonde fights for Occitanie podium

17 Jun 2018

Elissonde fights for Occitanie podium

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Kenny Elissonde battled hard to retain his third position overall at Route d'Occitanie on an eventful final stage which was won by Anthony Roux (Groupama-FDJ) as Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) took the overall race victory.

An attack from Valverde and fourth-placed Astana rider Luis Leon Sanchez had put the Frenchman’s podium place at risk when the duo managed to gain a two minute advantage over the Team Sky-led chase group as the kilometres ticked down.

However, a number of teams combined at the front of the reduced bunch, with Phil Deignan being pivotal in leading the chase effort to bring the gap down.

Elissonde as well as fellow GC contender Dani Navarro (Cofidis) were able to contribute to see the gap finally bridged merely metres from the finish line, which brought about a furious bunch sprint which was won by Roux.

The result represents the Frenchman’s second consecutive podium finish in the race, after also finishing third in the 2017 edition. 

Earlier, David Lopez suffered a crash in tricky conditions on the descent of the category one climb Pic de Nore which forced him to abandon with just under 100km remaining, but Team Doctor Neil Heron revealed Lopez was doing well after the incident.

He told TeamSky.com: "David is in good spirits and looking forward to a few days rest before resuming his race programme.

“He had stitches on a facial wound and a concussion assessment just in case and has now been discharged from hospital with head injury advice.”