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Howson turns from helper to leader at Herald Sun Tour

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Damien Howson

Damien Howson has claimed his first ever win for Orica-Scott atop Falls Creek on stage one of the Jayco Herald Sun Tour today. 

The 24-year-old attacked the peloton alongside Kenny Elissonde (Team Sky) in the first half of the famous climb, the duo catching and passing the remnants of the day’s earlier breakaway to then lead inside the final 10kilometres.

After a number of attacks between the pair, it was Howson who was too strong as he put in a final effort with two kilometres remaining to drop the Frenchman. Young Australian Jai Hindley finished strongly for second place ahead of Elissonde who held on for third.

“This is my first win in these colours and it’s been a long spell without a win,” Howson said. “I have been living my successes through others which I am always happy to do, but it’s nice to get a little bit of glory today.”

“We always knew we had a lot of cards to play. We had Simon Gerrans who has obviously won this race in the past, Esteban Chaves who is one of the best climbers in the world and obviously our leader here, and also Rob Power who might be new to the team but we all know his climbing prowess.

“Any one of us could have won today. We threw it out there, had the numbers, and it all fell into place for me today.”

“It was a bit of a cat and mouse game between myself and Kenny,” Howson explained. “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.”

Herald Sun Tour 2017 – stage 1 results (Wangaratta – Falls Creek):

1Damien Howson (Orica-Scott)

4:33:54

2Jai Hindley (Australia)

+32”

3Kenny Elissonde (Team Sky)

+47”

4Michael Storer (Australia)

+01’03”

5Esteban Chaves (Orica-Scott)

+01’10”

6Chris Froome (Team Sky)

+01’11”

7Nathan Earle (Australia)

,,

8Lucas Hamilton (Australia)

,,

9Cameron Meyer (Australia)

+01’13”

10Timothy Roe (IsoWhey Sports SwissWellness)

+01’15”

 

General classification after stage 1:

1Damien Howson (Orica-Scott)

4:36:32

2Jai Hindley (Australia)

+38”

3Kenny Elissonde (Team Sky)

+53”

4Michael Storer (Australia)

+01’10”

5Chris Froome (Team Sky)

+01’12”

6Cameron Meyer (Australia)

+01’13”

7Lucas Hamilton (Australia)

,,

8Nathan Earle (Australia)

+01’15”

9Esteban Chaves (Orica-Scott)

,,

10Timothy Roe (IsoWhey Sports SwissWellness)

+01’17”

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