Herald Sun Tour: Luke Rowe wins stage, Howson hangs on for lead
Feb 03 2017 07:19 pm CET

Herald Sun Tour: Luke Rowe wins stage, Howson hangs on for lead

Luke Rowe of Team Sky has won the second stage of the Herald Sun Tour. Damien Howson remains in the lead despite puncturing at the foot of the final climb.

Things were going according to plan for Orica-Scott's Howson when the Australian suffered a puncture and was forced to chase the group with Tour de France champion Chris Froome and other candidates for the overall classification.

The race leader immediately received support from his teammates including Esteban Chaves and managed to catch his rivals at about 500 meters from the finish.

In the mean time, Rowe took the victory with a comfortable 33-second advantage over Aqua Blue Sport's Conor Dunne. Tanner Putt of UnitedHealthCare came in third at 56 seconds from the winner.

Thanks to his efforts in the finale, Howson retains the leader's jersey for another day. The Australian leads Jai Hindley by 38 seconds with two stages to go.

"I was nervous going into that climb, I knew it could have been a difficult ride to the finish," Howson commented. "But to be on the back foot from a cause I couldn't control, it definitely added an element of stress.

"To reach the main group of GC contenders and capitalise on a really good two days and remain in the lead of this race, it's all I could ask for."

Stage 3, from Benalla to Mitchelton Winery over a distance of 167.7 kilometers, is mostly flat but has a 400-meter climb at the half-way point.
Photo of Luke Rowe (cropped) by Team Sky





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