Australian rider Damien Howson climbed to 17th place on today’s penultimate stage of Criterium du Dauphine, as the race entered the high mountains with a Hors Category summit finish.
Climbing with the world’s best, Howson remained with the front group as riders tailed off one-by-one, with the 28-year-old maintaining a good position, following the accelerations and only losing contact with three kilometres to go as the fierce final attacks began.
The Team BikeExchange rider dropped down two places on the classification to 17th, but takes promising signs away from today’s strong performance, with one hard fight left tomorrow and another opportunity to try to move up the GC.
“These are the guys in good shape ready to head to the Tour de France, some of the best climbers in the world, so to be there on such a difficult stage and on such a long final climb was really pleasing for me.
I think I raced it well, I was calm and you have to be realistic with your abilities. I started to get tailed off with around 3.5 kilometres to go, when the real attacks started and there I had to ride within myself essentially a individual time trial to the line.
Gaps have opened up behind me overall and I’m still not too far from a few guys in from or me on the GC. It’s a tough day tomorrow so we will see.“
Laurenzo Lapage – Sport Director
“I think if you see the select group, Damien was in it and it is one of the first time we have seen Damien this far in the race in the final and on such a hard climb.
It’s Dauphine, it’s a really important race and it’s a really strong field and a lot of guys are ready for the Tour, so to see Damien in there in that select group was a really good thing.”
2021 Critérium du Dauphine stage 7 results:
- Mark Padun 4”35”07
- Richie Porte +0:34
- Miguel López +0:43
- Damien Howson (Team BikeExchange) +1:39
General classification after stage 7:
1. Richie Porte 25:28:06
2. Alexey Lutsenko +0:17
3. Geraint Thomas +0:29
17. Damien Howson (Team BikeExchange) +1:55