• Alexander Edmondson eyes off the track ahead (Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
Track star, Alexander Edmondson has a huge motor and seemingly endless stamina. However, it was his Under-23 Tour of Flanders victory that had Orica-GreenEDGE Director Sportif, Matt White calling James Victor, the coach of the Jayco-AIS World Tour Academy team, in excitement.
Jamie Finch-Penninger

Cycling Central
25 Nov 2015 - 10:16 AM  UPDATED 25 Nov 2015 - 10:19 AM

“Matt White was on the phone to me soon after asking for some background on Alex’s preparation, experience on the bricks of Flanders and ultimately his resilience to deal with the real deal in a few years,” said Victor.

“Alex is a born racer and has shown on a few occasions, under pressure and personal expectation, that when he prepares for a targeted goal he will find a little bit more in the tank to chase the win. Caleb Ewan has shown exactly the same temperament in chasing the big wins.”

As an established star of the track and emerging road prodigy, Edmondson took home a gold medal for the team pursuit at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games. He won dual world championship titles that same year for the individual and team pursuits.

Borneo-born Edmondson has been splitting his focus between the road and the boards for several seasons. He will take on an additional pressure next year as he progresses to the pinnacle of his career in both disciplines. He will head to the Rio Olympics on the track and race his first season in the WorldTour for Orica-GreenEDGE as a neo-professional.

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The decorated 21-year-old would have been hoping to have a solid year’s preparation on the road and track to give him a good base for the upcoming season, but he was hit by injury and had to have multiple surgeries to get him back to full fitness.

“Alex had an interrupted season with injury ruling him out of the Tour de l’Avenir and as our targeted rider for the Under-23 World Road Race Championships,” said Victor.

“A season highlight was his Tour of Flanders espoir win from which he was progressing well into a full season on the road. After a mid-season altitude preparation in Mexico, with the Rio-targeted track endurance group, Alex was re-diagnosed with an old knee injury.

“A decision was reached to have the procedure on his knee completed sooner and allow more rehabilitation time before the more important Rio Olympic track qualification and expected pressure cooker preparation through 2016,” said Victor.

“Aside from that, Alex was progressing very well,” he added, “and I would have loved to see the outcome of the under-23 worlds road race with Alex in his ‘Flanders form’.

“He is back on track now and I know that OGE have put together a limited road program to optimise his track preparations and Cycling Australia’s medal targets in Rio.”

Edmondson has been racing as strong as ever since his recovery, taking second in the 280 kilometre Melbourne to Warrnambool in October and riding prominently in the local South Australian events. This puts him in good stead for performing well in the upcoming track world cup meets in New Zealand in December and Hong Kong in January. This will allow him to build toward the Australian track nationals in February.

As a road cyclist, Edmondson combines tremendous stamina and punchy climbing ability with a good sprint; a mix that puts him in good stead for the classics. At this stage he doesn’t look like a general classification rider on paper, but stage wins in the Grand Tours will be a viable goal for him.

Given all he has achieved at just 21 years of age, it will certainly be interesting to see how he develops in the professional ranks.