Eddie Dunbar impresses on very successful Team Sky debut

Posted on: September 15th, 2018

Eddie Dunbar Team Sky debut Coppa Agostoni

Eddie Dunbar (22) made his debut for Team Sky today. He imposed on he climbs, helping his team to win and finishing on a day when three quarters of the field abandoned.


Eddie Dunbar Team Sky debut at Coppa Agostoni


Any suggestion Eddie Dunbar would need time to adjust to the demands of life at Team Sky were put aside today on a very successful debut.

He helped the team to victory in the hilly 200km Coppa Agostoni (1.1) in Italy, with Gianni Moscon claiming it for Team Sky.

Dunbar and Michal Golas hit the front on the two final climbs of the day. They strung out the bunch to deter any attacks and pave the way for Moscon to attack.

The Italian began a series of accelerations with just under 60km remaining and as the 12 categorised climbs came to an end.

And not only had Eddie Dunbar played a key role in the team’s race place when the race heated up, he was one of only 44 finishers, of some 175 starters.

He came home in 40th place, in a small group at 4:33; one of only three Team Sky riders to finish.

Moscon had pulled clear with Damiano Caruso, the BMC Racing man riding for Italy today, and Angel Madrazo (Delko Marseille).

They then caught the day’s breakaway. Dunbar and his colleagues had earlier worked hard on the front to ensure the gap was not allowed to become insurmountable.

When Moscon’s group caught the escape Taaramae would bridge across. After an aggressive finale it was those two who got rid of the others to fight it out.


Eddie Dunbar Team Sky debut Coppa Agostoni

Eddie Dunbar, left, with 19-year-old British riders Mark Donovan and Ethan Hayter; both started as Team Sky stagiaires today.


It was Moscon’s first race since his suspension by Team Sky after being disqualified from the Tour de France.

He was accused of trying to strike another rider though he has said in the last week he never tried to hit anyone.

Team Sky directeur Dario Cioni said he was delighted to win today and to see the team riding so well as a unit.

And he said Eddie Dunbar, making his debut as a WorldTour rider aged just 22 years, he played his part at a crucial time.

“It was a hard race and also a long way from the local circuit to the finish line,” he said of a course littered with climbs.

“This was a challenge, but Gianni was very motivated to work and he’s done a lot of training up on the Stelvio.

“Obviously today he also wanted to show to the Italian team ahead of the world championships that he is ready to race.”


Eddie Dunbar imposes himself on climbs

Cioni continued: “(Moscon) did a ride very similar to what Egan (Bernal) did last year and we decided to take it on.

“Mark Donovan was pulling early on, and then Eddie and (Michal) Golas took it up before the last two climbs.

“That is where Gianni went and he managed to get away. It was a long way with a small gap, but we know he is a good time triallist so we were confident that he could hold on.

“When Taaramae came across that was a good thing and that helped a lot for the last 10km. Gianni played it really smart at the finish.

“He put himself in the best position and started the last kilometre on the wheel. He was very smart.”