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Groves finishes Australian season on a high, Howson podiums at Sun Tour

Sun 9 Feb 2020

Neo-pro Kaden Groves claimed the final stage, his second win of the Jayco Herald Sun Tour, to wrap up the Australian summer season for Mitchelton-SCOTT

Groves, who also won on stage three, finished ahead of teammate Dion Smith on the Melbourne-circuit, whilst Damien Howson retained third overall behind champion Jai Hindley (Team Sunweb).

City finale:
Despite a windy back half, the final Melbourne circuit stage always looked destined for a sprint.

A breakaway of seven animated racing but they were kept within 40seconds and were all-but swallowed up by the bunch with one lap remaining. 

Mitchelton-SCOTT lined up for the sprint inside the final three kilometres and, despite losing their way up the final climb of Anderson Street hill, Groves wrapped up his second win for the week. 

End of summer:
The end of racing today sees a close to the 2020 Australian cycling season. Mitchelton-SCOTT now head back to Europe with three national titles and an additional four UCI wins and 11 podiums. 

Kaden Groves – Stage winner:
“(The finish) really suited me because it was hard enough to drop some of the other fast guys and in the end I’m happy to get the win. 

“We all got together pretty late actually, maybe three kilometres to go. It was pretty messy and in the crosswinds we lined up and we put it into the gutter at the head of the peloton.  Coming into the climb EF took over and set a really hard pace up the top. Hofland let Tom Scully go off the front, forcing me to chase, so I had to close the gap from the kilometre banner to probably 300m to go where I had a run at him, took the barrier on the right and led out the sprint. 

“The guys were perfect, keeping me fresh in every stage and delivering me to the finishes as smooth as possible. I think the results of the week are pretty good.”  

Damien Howson – 3rd overall:
“It’s always good to be on the podium here. Of course, I would have taken first, but I didn’t come here expecting to finish third either.

“That’s cycling, things change and you need to adapt to them so I’m happy we made the most of what we had and to finish with two stages with Kaden also makes it a successful week.”

Matt Wilson – Sport Director:
“Two stage wins and an overall podium is a great week by any standards.

“Of course we set high goals to come here and win the Tour and a couple of stages, and it would have been nice, but we were out-classed. We weren’t going good enough and Jai Hindley was super and some of the domestic riders really stepped up too.  

“I think it was a great race and I’m really proud of the guys, they did everything they could. 

“The strategy today was to leave it late. Obviously with the head wind down the back and the climb, we knew if we came with numbers we’d been in a really good place.

“We got it half right, but then we fell back to plan B which was to make sure Kaden was in good position into the final corner if we couldn’t do the lead out. He was and from that point the guys knew he was safe.”

2020 Jayco Herald Sun Tour - Stage 5 Results:
1. Kaden Groves
(Mitchelton-SCOTT) 1:58:38
2. Dion Smith (Mitchelton-SCOTT) ST
3. Moreno Hofland (EF Pro Cycling) ST

2020 Jayco Herald Sun Tour - FINAL General Classification:
1. Jai Hindley (Team Sunweb) 14:50:23
2. Sebastian Berwick (St George) +0:17
3. Damien Howson (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +0:36

Mitchelton-SCOTT - Australian Season Podiums:

  • 1st Australian Time Trial Championship - Men (Luke Durbridge)
  • 1st Australian Road Race Championship - Women (Amanda Spratt)
  • 1st Australian Road Race Championship - Men (Cameron Meyer)
  • 1st Women’s Tour Down Under - Stage 2 (Amanda Spratt)
  • 1st Women’s Herald Sun Tour - Overall (Lucy Kennedy)
  • 1st Jayco Herald Sun Tour - Stage 3 (Kaden Groves)
  • 1st Jayco Herald Sun Tour - Stage 5 (Kaden Groves)
  • 2nd Australian Time Trial Championship - Women (Grace Brown)
  • 2nd Tour Down Under - Stage 2 (Daryl Impey)
  • 2nd Jayco Herald Sun Tour - Stage 1 (Kaden Groves)
  • 2nd Jayco Herald Sun Tour - Stage 2 (Damien Howson)
  • 2nd Jayco Herald Sun Tour - Stage 5 (Dion Smith)
  • 3rd Australian Road Race Championship - Women (Grace Brown)
  • 3rd Tour Down Under - Stage 3 (Simon Yates)
  • 3rd Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race - Women (Amanda Spratt)
  • 3rd Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race - Men (Daryl Impey)
  • 3rd Women’s Herald Sun Tour - Stage 2 (Lucy Kennedy)
  • 3rd Jayco Herald Sun Tour - Overall (Damien Howson)

Photo courtesy of Con Chronis.

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