Yesterday’s Queen stage winner Damien Howson has successfully retained his lead of the Jayco Herald Sun Tour, despite a dramatic end to stage two into Beechworth today.
After a day of patrolling attacks and controlling the breakaway, Howson’s ORICA-SCOTT teammates were again called upon in the final 20km when the race leader punctured at the bottom of the final climb.
After receiving a replacement front wheel from Mitch Docker, Howson was in for an all-mighty chase with Chris Froome and other general classification threats pushing hard ahead on the climb.
Thanks to unwavering assistance from Sam Bewley, followed by Robert Power, Simon Gerrans, Michael Hepburn and finally Esteban Chaves to get over the climb, Howson and the Colombian re-joined the group of threats inside the final 500metres.
“I was nervous going into that climb, I knew it could have been a difficult ride to the finish,” Howson said. “But to be on the back foot from a cause I couldn’t control, it definitely added an element of stress."
|1||Luke Rowe (GBR) - Team Sky||4:08:23|
|2||Conor Dunne (IRL) - Aqua Blue Sport||0:00:33|
|3||Tanner Putt (USA) - UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling||0:00:56|
|4||Robbie Hucker (AUS) - IsoWhey Sports SwissWellness||0:00:57|
|5||Steve Lampier (GBR) - JLT Condor||0:00:57|
|6||Cameron Meyer (AUS) - KordaMentha Real Estate Australian National Team||0:01:12|
|7||Martijn Tusveld (NED) - Roompot – Nederlandse Loterij||0:01:17|
|8||Janier Alexis Acevedo Calle (COL) - UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling||0:01:17|
|9||Ian Bibby (GBR) - JLT Condor||0:01:17|
|10||Lucas Hamilton (AUS) - KordaMentha Real Estate Australian National Team||0:01:17|
|23||Damien Howson (AUS) - ORICA-SCOTT||0:01:17|
|25||Jhoan Esteban Chaves Rubio (COL) - ORICA-SCOTT||0:01:17|
|51||Michael Hepburn (AUS) - ORICA-SCOTT||0:06:03|
|62||Simon Gerrans (AUS) - ORICA-SCOTT||0:06:03|
|84||Rob Power (AUS) - ORICA-SCOTT||0:10:31|
|92||Mitch Docker (AUS) - ORICA-SCOTT||0:14:51|
|93||Sam Bewley (NZL) - ORICA-SCOTT||0:14:51|