Best young riders jersey for Howson on stage three of the Tour de Romandie

Fri 29 Apr 2016

South African Daryl Impey and young Australian climber Damien Howson finished in 16th and 20th place respectively in the individual time trial on stage three of the Tour de Romandie today, giving ORICA-GreenEDGE two riders in the top twenty.

The solid ride by Howson put him into the white best young rider's jersey ahead of tomorrow's tough Queen Stage after performing well for the team over the last few stages.

The undulating 15.1kilometre stage was won by Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) with a time of 20minutes 21seconds. Impey and Howson both produced strong rides with Impey breaking the 21minute mark by three seconds.

Sport director Neil Stephens was happy to see Howson taking his oppurtunities in the absence of an outright general classification rider in the squad.

“Damien (Howson) has really been riding well here at Romandie,” said Stephens. “He is developing very quickly into a promising all-rounder and he deservedly won the best young rider's jersey today.”

“We wanted to have a good go at the time trial today, Michael (Hepburn) put in a really solid ride but the climb was maybe a little but too steep for his ideal terrain.

“Daryl (Impey) is always going to be up there in this kind of event,” continued Stephens. “He rode really strongly and literally flew down the descent.”

“Tomorrow’s stage is going to be very difficult, there are three major climbs in there and the weather forecast is not great. The Queen stage is always going to be hard but we want to compete and we will do everything we can to be up there at the front going over the climbs.”

How it happened:

Nestled in the high mountains near the popular winter sports area of Valais sits the town of Sion, host to stage three of the Tour de Romandie. A brilliant sunny day welcomed the riders to the start of the individual time trial with Hepburn first down the ramp for ORICA-GreenEDGE.

The early occupant of the ‘Hot Seat’ was Lieuwe Westra (Astana) with a time of 21minutes 20seconds for the 15.1kilometre course, with Hepburn in provisional second place two seconds down.

Impey broke the 21minute mark by three seconds but was upstaged by Chris Froome (Team-Sky) and Bob Jungels (Etixx-Quickstep) who both posted a time of 20minutes 30seconds.

Froome and Jungels now shared the provisional top spot and were joined by Jerome Coppel (IAM-Cycling) after all three posted the same time. Howson was last off the ramp for ORICA-GreenEDGE and posted a time of 21minutes putting himself into a top twenty position alongside Impey.

The situation remained the same until Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin) completed the course in a time of 20minutes 23seconds, relegating Jungels to second and Froome to third.

Pinot edged out Dumoulin with a time of 20minutes and 21seconds and moved into the provisional top spot. The last riders on the course were race leader Nairo Quintana (Movistar) and second placed Ilnur Zakarin (Team-Katusha). Neither rider could get near Pinot’s time with Quintana coming closest ten-seconds down on the Frenchman.

Pinot took the stage win and moved into second place on the general classification behind leader Quintana. The Queen stage takes place tomorrow and covers 173.3kilometres from Conthey to Villars-sur-Ollon.

Tour De Romandie stage 3 ITT results:

1. Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) 00:20:21
2. Tom Dumoilin (Giant-Alpecin) 00:00.02
3.  Bob Jungels (Etixx-Quickstep) 00:00.09
16. Daryl Impey (ORICA-GreenEDGE) 00:00:36

General classification after stage three:

1. Nairo Quintana (Movistar) 7:22:35
2. Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) +0:23
3. Ilnur Zakarin (Team-Katusha) +0:26
18. Damien Howson (ORICA-GreenEDGE) +2:15