Doesn’t everyone like watching Kenny Ellisonde?

Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race

I get excited when I see Kenny Ellisonde going uphill. It’s time you admitted this too.

The most recent example was in the Cadel Evens Ocean Race. The final loop of the Escher designer Geelong circuit – all right angles going up and up – climbed into the hills around the Bellarine Peninsula, past the driveways of middle-class Australia, which for one day were daubed in chalk with names of Porte and Evans, which will stay there until it next rains.

Ellisonde shone this day, albeit only for about 600 glorious meters.

Ellisonde burst away and led on the way up, powering forward with the size and grace of a bobble head doll, leaving the field behind and taking two camera bikes with him. It’s the kind of climb we weekend riders pretend we’re doing as we storm up a 30 yard steep bit, not far from home, and before a big lunch. Ellisonde though had a point to prove. Short in stature he might be, but he has pluck, and pluck surely counts for a lot in cycling.

The move came with 13kms to go, but alas it didn’t last long. Despite all the effort Ellisonde was reeled back in by the time he’d reached the summit. In moments like this most riders admit defeat and rejoin the pack, trying to style it out. But Ellisonde had other plans. He decided to ignore them, and lead the descent to the finish as if he hadn’t been caught at all. And so there he remained, at the front holding onto his bike for dear life, because it was moving so fast it seemed ready to go on without him, all the way into Geelong.

Ellisonde wouldn’t make it all the way, but who really cared. A show of class to his new team perhaps, but a demonstration of why Ellisonde is so fun to watch, for certain.

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