Colorado Classic wraps with Howson in fourth overallSun 19 Aug 2018
Damien Howson raced intelligently over the circuits in Denver on the last stage of the Colorado Classic to take the day’s bonus seconds and jump up to fourth on the general classification for Mitchelton-SCOTT capping a positive week of racing for the Australian team.
A solid run of performances by Mitchelton-SCOTT started with Rob Power in the top 20 on the opening stage before Howson stretched his legs in the stage two time-trial, placing fifth on the stage and setting himself for an attacking display on day three.
The former U23 world time trial champion infiltrated the breakaway on stage three in a valiant attempt to move up on GC and after staying away over the hilly parcours the move was caught tantalisingly close to the finish with Howson going into the final day of racing still in fifth overall.
That’s how it would have remained, but Howson wanted more and attacked to take the intermediate sprint points and time bonus to move into fourth overall.
United-Health-Care stayed attentive over the last day of competition in support of race leader and eventual winner Gavin Mannion with teammate Travis McCabe winning the sprint today to seal a successful race for the Pro-Continental team.
A fast start in downtown Denver saw a four-man breakaway gain a small gap over the peloton over the opening circuits with United-Health-Care controlling the tempo in the bunch and keeping the quartet within a minute.
Not much changed until the penultimate lap when three riders bridged across to the leaders as the peloton drew closer and the gap standing at only 20seconds.
Despite their efforts the bunch swept them up a moments later with the next action coming when Howson attacked into the intermediate sprint to claim full honours and move up a place on GC.
Attacks continued to fly into the last lap, but the sprint was a foregone conclusion as McCabe took the stage win with Lucas Hamilton up with the leaders in 12th.
“There was a kind of unspoken acceptance that the GC situation was resolved going into today’s last stage and it seemed that the other teams would race quite conservatively, but I still wanted to take a few chances and see if I could maybe move up and I managed to do that with the intermediate sprint.”
“We tried to go for the first one, but I ran fourth and then the final time around it was all about attacking into the corner and timing that to perfection. Having passed through it on the previous circuits I knew where I wanted to be and thankfully it worked.
“The guys have been great throughout the race, everyone giving their best for each other on every stage and the racing has been fun and relatively low stress compared to European racing.
“I think we’ve all enjoyed the experience of competing on a different continent and I hope that the time at this altitude will give me some benefits going into my next objectives.”
Colorado Classic stage four results:
1. Travis McCabe (United-Health-Care) 02:24:04
2. Ty Magner (Rally-Cycling) ST
3. Joseph Lewis (Holowesko-Citadel) ST
12. Lucas Hamilton (Mitchelton-SCOTT) ST
Final general classification:
1. Gavin Mannion (United-Health-Care) 09:05:37
2. Serghei Tvetcov (United-Health-Care) +0:15
3. Hugh Carthy (EF-Education-First-Drapac) +0:22
4. Damien Howson (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +0:27
Photos courtesy of Getty Images.