News: Kenny Elissonde is enjoying life with Team Sky

With a season in Team Sky colours under his belt, Frenchman Kenny Elissonde is enjoying life with the team.

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News: Kenny Elissonde is enjoying life with Team Sky

The 26 year old impressed last season with a pair of overall third places at the Herald Sun Tour and Route du Sud, and will be hoping to secure more results this season, with his 2018 programme kicking off at Trofeo Mallorca.

“My first season with the team was really nice,” said Elissonde. “It was quite hard – every season is hard – but it was really enjoyable. We had a lot of good times and it was really nice. My target for 2018 would be to keep going on the same path, try to win some nice races. Overall the goal is to win and it will be good to help some of our leaders win some races – that will be my big objective.”

Despite speaking English, for Elissonde an added bonus on Team Sky is having French-speaking team members he can chat to both on and off race. He explained: “It’s really nice to have another French-speaking rider in the team with Pavel [Sivakov], and with [Sport Director] Nico Portal there are three of us. We are a little French team within the team and we even sung the French national anthem on stage together at October camp [awards dinner]. It’s nice to be an international team but sometimes it’s nice to be able to speak your own language naturally.”
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Lead Sport Director to Chris Froome in his five Grand Tour wins, Frenchman Nicolas Portal has forged an extremely impressive career after retiring as a rider at the end of the 2010 season.

“I have not had a race with Nico, but from what I saw during camp or when I call him, he is really relaxed and seems laid back, but very professional at the same time, so it’s really nice to work with him. Not even because he is French, but because of person he is. He is always in a good mood, if you ask him something he will always make time to talk with you – maybe for an hour. He puts a lot of time into what he is doing and I think you can feel there is a very big commitment to the team and what he is doing. It’s really nice to have someone like him in the team.”
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Living in France, first-year pro Pavel Sivakov is one of the exciting young talents to join Team Sky ahead of the 2018 season. In a short time he has already made a good impression on Elissonde, who added: “What I know from Pavel is that he is half-French, half-Russian and he is a climber but also a bit of an all-rounder. As an under 23 he won the Baby Giro, he won the Ronde de l’Isard, he won a lot – plenty of hard one week – or even longer – races. He is one of the best in his category as an under 23 last year. I am getting to know him better and better as time goes on, I was his roommate at our October camp, he is a really nice kid and I am looking forward to being with him in a race.

“You can’t take it easy, but he needs to give it time to progress because it is not easy when you win everything and you come into the pro peloton. Maybe you have the same expectations, maybe you think ‘I can do the same’, but it takes time to adapt. With the talent he has he can win, but give him the time to adapt and focus not just on the result, but the experience in the first year. Maybe he will win straight away – we never know.”



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