Howson hones climbing skills to be a key contributor for ORICA-BikeExchange

Wed 14 Sep 2016

South Australian Damien Howson has established himself as super domestique for ORICA-BikeExchange throughout 2016.

His commitment and focus to this cause, including a stand out performance at the Giro d’Italia earlier this season and most recently on the penultimate stage of the Vuelta a Espana, has seen the 24-year-old secure a two-year contract extension with the Australian outfit. 

After a Grand Tour debut at the Tour of Spain last year, Howson, who joined the team in 2014 as an under 23 world time trial champion, discovered his calling as a key support rider for the general classification ambitions of ORICA-BikeExchange.

“After the Vuelta last year I have really focused on becoming an asset in the mountains, trying to help our leaders achieve their goals,” Howson said. “I feel like I’ve taken a large step forward in my development and I really want to continue that path with the team.”

“I want to use the experience I already have as a stepping stone to become even better at helping out in the finals of the Grand Tours and I really appreciate the support the team has given me to be where I am now as a rider.”

Howson, who will ride with the team through to 2018, will play a key role alongside new signings Roman Krueziger and Carlos Verona in assisting the ambitions of young leaders Esteban Chaves and Adam and Simon Yates.

Sport director Matt White is pleased to see the strong development of Howson and credited his commitment and work rate for a standout season.

“Damien has taken a huge step up since last year and what he has been able to achieve in the Grand Tours is certainly a credit to his hard work and dedication,” White said. 

“He has become a very valuable and consistent rider in mountain stages and has developed into a super domestique who can also achieve results on his own. 

“It’s very rare that you see riders climbing as well as him who can also produce world class time trials. He will definitely be a big part of our Grand Tour plans for the coming years.”

Damien Howson

Age: 24
From: Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
Turned Professional:  2014

Major results:

-       1st 2013 UCI Road Cycling World Championships Under 23 – Time Trial
-       2nd 2016 Herald Sun Tour - Stage 4
-       2nd 2014 UCI Road Cycling World Championships – TTT
-       3rd 2016 Herald Sun Tour - General Classification
-       3rd 2015 Vuelta a Espana – Stage 1 (TTT)