Damien Howson surprises peloton in Herald Sun Tour
Feb 02 2017 10:29 pm CET

Damien Howson surprises peloton in Herald Sun Tour

Damien Howson of orica-Scott is the new leader of the Herald Sun Tour after successfully finishing a solo attack in the first stage.

The 24-year-old, for whom this was his very first victory, attacked along with Kenny Elissonde of FDJ on the famous Falls Creek climb and later dropped his companion to take the victory ahead of Australian Jai Hindley. Elissonde finished third at 47 seconds from the winner.

The tactic came as a surprise to other teams as Orica was expected to launch Esteban Chaves for the classification and instead opted to support one of the Colombian's teammates.

Once Howson attacked, it wasn't an easy task to shake off his French fellow escapee, he explained. "It was a bit of a cat and mouse game between myself and Kenny. It was about making sure you still had the legs to finish it off but knowing you had options behind too."

"In the end it was one of those dream scenarios where you have enough time to think about a finish salute."

In the general classification Howson now leads Hindley by 38 seconds and Elissonde by 53. Michael Storer occupies fourth place ahead of Tour de France champion Chris Froome. Prologue winner Danny van Poppel dropped to 98th position.

The Australian 2.1 race continues on Friday with a 165km stage from Mt Beauty to Beechworth.
Photo of Damien Howson by CyclingPub / Mary Cardenas





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