Howson impresses on stage two time trial in Colorado

Fri 17 Aug 2018

Former U23 world time trial champion Damien Howson produced a strong ride on the second stage of the Colorado Classic to finish in fifth place for Mitchelton-SCOTT with the Australian team on track for a high placing overall.

An uphill individual time trial up Vail Pass was the order of the day for stage two, covering 16kilometres over a gradual rise with the early best times all around 27minutes until the top riders started to hit the start ramp.

Howson was the third rider off for Mitchelton-SCOTT and produced a superb ride, finishing with a time of 26minutes and eight seconds to move into provisional second place.

Unfortunately, Howson didn’t hold that position for long with Gavin Mannion (UnitedHealth-Care) becoming the first rider to break 26minutes and see his time stand up against the GC contenders to take the stage win and move into the leader’s jersey with two more days of racing to come.

Rob Power came home 50seconds down on Howson to place in the top 20 with Howson only 27seconds behind the stage winner and new race leader going into tomorrow’s Queen Stage.

Damien Howson:

“It was a very hard course today and I was coming in hoping to be able to produce a good ride, but with only three days prior to the race to acclimatise to the altitude, I wasn’t sure how I would go so I’m very happy with the result.”

“We’ve got a strong team for the climbs and tomorrow is going to be a hard and fairly unpredictable day. I think it will be raced aggressively, we can’t say how the other team’s will approach the stage, but if we want to pull back a deficit of 27seconds we have to race aggressively.

“There are two major climbs before the finish and it could get out of control. We saw on stage one that this is a technical race and very difficult to gauge how things are going to play out – it should be a very exciting stage tomorrow.”

Colorado Classic stage two ITT results:

1. Gavin Mannion (UnitedHealth-Care) 00:25:41

2. Serghei Tvetcov (UnitedHealth-Care) +0:11

3. Hugh Carthy (EF-Education-First-Drapac) +0:21

5. Damien Howson (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +0:27

Photos courtesy of Getty Images.