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Team Sky wins four podium places in two races within 24hrs

Froome and Poels win at Herald Sun Tour and Tour of Valencia, with Kennaugh and Intxausti taking second and third places

Team Sky has started the season with a bang, with Chris Froome taking the win at the 2016 Herald Sun Tour in Australia, with Peter Kennaugh in second, as well as a first and third podium spot at the Vuelta a Valencia in Spain with Wout Poels and Beñat Intxausti.

Tour de France champion Froome dominated the final stage of the Herald Sun Tour race, leading on all three climbs of the 75.7 mile stage, to claim the king of the mountains classification, as well.

Within the same 24 hour period, in Valencia, Team Sky won first and third place with Wout Poels in the yellow jersey and Beñat Intxausti coming third.

Brailsford: 2016 will be Team Sky's biggest year yet

After the Herald Sun Tour Froome, who hasn’t raced for five months, said: “There’s a lot to race for this year and coming here and walking away with the overall victory is an amazing way to start off the season”.

Though Kennaugh won the first stage, finishing the penultimate day with a 13 second lead, Froome took the final win.

"It was something that unfolded out on the road when I went for the King of the Mountain points," Froome said.

"The second time up Arthurs Seat, the team behind said, 'Listen, Chris, just sit on the wheel, we're not going to ride behind, you are in a great position to go for the stage win and overall victory, and Pete (Kennaugh) would bring it up from behind'."

He [Kennaugh] gave me an all-clear from behind – I mean, a massive thank you to Pete for doing that,” Froome said. “Hats off Pete, big respect.”

Kennaugh said he was "a bit gutted not to win" but said teammate Froome deserved the victory.

Froome finished the race 29 seconds up on Kennaugh, while Australian Damien Howson (Orica-GreenEDGE) came third overall, 1.01s behind Froome after finishing in second place on the final stage.

Meanwhile, in Valencia, Wout Poels won overall with a 46 second advantage after leading the race from the opening time trial, taking the points, mountains and combination jerseys. The Tour of Valencia was Beñat Intxausti’s stage race debut for Team Sky, where he finished 56 seconds behind Dutchman Poels, to take third place. 

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