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2017 Herald Sun Tour (2.1), Australia

64th edition: February 1 - February 5, 2017

Herald Sun Tour Podium history | 2016 edition

Prologue | Stage 1 | Stage 2 | Stage 3 | Stage 4


Sunday, February 5: 4th and final stage, Kinglake - Kinglake, 121 km

Ian Stannard

Ian Stannard wins the final stage

The race: Here's the story from final overall winner Damien Howson's Orica-Scott team.

Queen stage winner Damien Howson has taken out the 2017 Jayco Herald Sun Tour, successfully defending his lead on the crucial final stage in Kinglake for his first ever stage-race win.

Howson rode himself into the yellow jersey on the decisive opening road stage, attacking on the final 30km climb up Falls Creek to take his first professional victory. The 24-year-old started today with a 38-second buffer from his nearest rival Jai Hindley (Korda Mentha Australia), and despite a dangerous attack from Chris Froome (Team Sky) on the final climb, Howson finished comfortably in the group of main contenders to celebrate over the line.

“It’s a big sigh of relief now,” Howson said. “It’s been an amazing week and to finish it off the way we did, capitalise on our position, I couldn’t be happier. It comes with a lot of honour (to win the Tour). There are a lot of prestigious names on that list… and I am really happy to join that list of guys.

“To get my first win only a couple of days ago and to continue all the way through and keep the yellow jersey on the final day, it’s my first overall win ever, so it’s nice to break into new territory.”

For the past three days, Howson’s Orica-Scott teammates have dedicated all of their efforts to defending his lead, but it wasn’t without drama. A stage two puncture at the bottom of a climb with 20km to the finish made for an intense chase to an active group of general classification rivals. The following day, on the penultimate day of racing, Howson dodged a number of crashes in the final kilometres to survive another day of drama.

Enjoying his role as a leader, rather than his usual domestique duties, Howson was full of praise for his Orica-Scott teammates. “I definitely was nervous,” Howson said. “But I think every lap that went by I became more calm. I was probably expecting (other teams) to light it up a bit earlier to really make or break the race. We had the full team coming through the finish line (together) and we still had plenty of numbers to go coming through for the final lap. I knew as long as I had Esteban (Chaves) with me on the final climb that it was going to be pretty simple to control and maintain the overall lead and that’s exactly what happened.

“Everyone went further than they needed to and that made my day as easy as possible, which was fantastic.”

How it happened:

Contrary to the conditions of the previous days of racing, the peloton set off for four laps of a tough 31.2km in rainy and windy conditions. After an extended neutral zone, the race began and a breakaway of 12 moved off the front. Shortly after a chase group of six set off in pursuit.

The two groups joined and rode out to a four-minute advantage with Orica-Scott patrolling on the front of the peloton. The breakaway started the final lap with a two-minute advantage and shortly after began to attack each other. Behind, the pace also picked up in the peloton as Froome launched an attack attempt.

The breakaway survived to take the stage victory, with Ian Stannard (Team Sky) attacking in the final kilometre for the honours. Behind, Howson comfortably stayed with his overall threats to take out his first ever Tour.

Complete results:

121 kilometers raced an average speed of 42.030 km/hr

1 Ian STANNARD (Sky) 2hr 52min 44sec
2 Aaron GATE (Aqua Blue Sport) s.t.
3 Taco VAN DER HOORN (Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij) s.t.
4 Benjamin HILL (Attaque Gusto) s.t.
5 Robbie HUCKER (IsoWhey Sports) s.t.
6 Alistair SLATER (JLT-Condor) s.t.
7 Jason CHRISTIE (New Zealand) s.t.
8 Daniel FITTER (NSW Institue of Sport) s.t.
9 Cyrus MONK (Drapac) s.t.
10 Travis MCCABE (United Healthcare) s.t.
11 Cameron BAYLY (IsoWhey Sports) @ 17sec
12 Cameron MEYER (KordaMentha-Australia) s.t.
13 Dylan SUNDERLAND (NSW Institue of Sport) s.t.
14 Jai HINDLEY (KordaMentha-Australia) s.t.
15 Lucas HAMILTON (KordaMentha-Australia) s.t.
16 James ORAM (New Zealand) @ 8sec
17 Janier Alexis ACEVEDO (United Healthcare) @ 17sec
18 Timothy ROE (IsoWhey Sports) s.t.
19 Tim ARIESEN (Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij) @ 8sec
20 Damien HOWSON (Orica-Scott) @ 17sec
21 Nathan EARLE (KordaMentha-Australia) s.t.
22 Sebastian HENAO GOMEZ (Sky) @ 13sec
23 Benjamin DYBALL (St. George) @ 17sec
24 Jesse FEATONBY (Drapac) s.t.
25 Kenny ELISSONDE (Sky) s.t.
26 Ian BIBBY (JLT-Condor) @ 12sec
27 Michael STORER (KordaMentha-Australia) 17
28 Tanner PUTT (United Healthcare) 31
29 Jhoan Esteban CHAVES (Orica-Scott) 17
30 Ivan SAVITCKII (Gazprom-RusVelo) 55
31 Nick VAN DER LIJKE (Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij) s.t.
32 Marcelo FELIPE (7 Eleven-Philippines) s.t.
33 Martijn TUSVELD (Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij) s.t.
34 Jesper ASSELMAN (Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij) +1:08
35 Michel KREDER (Aqua Blue Sport) s.t.
36 Pavel BRUTT (Gazprom-RusVelo) +1:21
37 Alistair DONOHOE (Attaque Gusto) s.t.
38 Jonathan CLARKE (United Healthcare) s.t.
39 Luke ROWE (Sky) +1:29
40 Peter KONING (Aqua Blue Sport) s.t.
41 Christopher FROOME (Sky) 17
42 Sergey NIKOLAEV (Gazprom-RusVelo) +1:21
43 James GULLEN (JLT-Condor) +1:43
44 Josh BERRY (7 Eleven-Philippines) +2:28
45 Jesse EWART (7 Eleven-Philippines) s.t.
46 Alexandr SHUSHEMOIN (Attaque Gusto) s.t.
47 Nicholas KATSONIS (Drapac) s.t.
48 Michael HEPBURN (Orica-Scott) s.t.
49 Nikolay TRUSOV (Gazprom-RusVelo) +3:06
50 Mathew ROSS (Drapac) s.t.
51 Sam DOBBS (New Zealand) +3:20
52 Lachlan NORRIS (United Healthcare) +3:36
53 Alex FRAME (JLT-Condor) s.t.
54 Conor DUNNE (Aqua Blue Sport) s.t.
55 Edgar Nohales NETO (7 Eleven-Philippines) +4:08
56 Samuel JENNER (KordaMentha-Australia) +4:34
57 Steve LAMPIER (JLT-Condor) +4:50
58 Simon GERRANS (Orica-Scott) s.t.
59 Brad EVANS (Drapac) +5:30
60 Rustom LIM (7 Eleven-Philippines) s.t.
61 Aleksei TCATEVICH (Gazprom-RusVelo) s.t.
62 Joseph COOPER (IsoWhey Sports) s.t.
63 Mario VOGT (Attaque Gusto) s.t.
64 Mitch DOCKER (Orica-Scott) s.t.
65 Calvin WATSON (Aqua Blue Sport) s.t.
66 Greg HENDERSON (United Healthcare) +5:55
67 Timothy GUY (Attaque Gusto) s.t.
68 Mark John Lexer GALEDO (7 Eleven-Philippines) +6:18
69 Artur ERSHOV (Gazprom-RusVelo) +6:50
70 Drew MOREY (Drapac) s.t.
71 Jesse KERRISON (IsoWhey Sports) +7:33
72 Hamish SCHREURS (New Zealand) +8:10
73 Thomas HUBBARD (St. George) s.t.
74 Lawrence WARBASSE (Aqua Blue Sport) s.t.
75 Leigh HOWARD (Aqua Blue Sport) s.t.
76 Brenton JONES (JLT-Condor) s.t.
77 Angus LYONS (KordaMentha-Australia) s.t.
78 James FOUCHE (New Zealand) s.t.
79 Kaden GROVES (St. George) s.t.
80 Jeroen MEIJERS (Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij) s.t.
81 Oliver KENT-SPARK (Drapac) +10:00
82 Matthew ZENOVICH (New Zealand) s.t.
83 Jacob KAUFFMANN (NSW Institue of Sport) s.t.
84 Alex WOHLER (NSW Institue of Sport) s.t.
85 Joshua TAYLOR (NSW Institue of Sport) s.t.
86 Taylor GUNMAN (New Zealand) s.t.
87 Jay DUTTON (St. George) s.t.
88 Ayden TOOVEY (NSW Institue of Sport) s.t.
89 Brodie TALBOT (St. George) +9:15
90 Guy KALMA (Attaque Gusto) +11:00
91 Sam BEWLEY (Orica-Scott) +11:25
92 Adrian HEGYVARY (United Healthcare) +11:50
93 Rob POWER (Orica-Scott) +13:07
94 Philip MARTZ (Attaque Gusto) +13:59
95 Darcy ELLERM-NORTON (St. George) s.t.
96 Kirill SVESHNIKOV (Gazprom-RusVelo) +16:26

Final GC after stage 4:

630.5 kilometers raced at an average speed of 40.888 km/hr

1 Damien HOWSON (Orica-Scott) 15hr 25min 13sec
2 Jai HINDLEY (KordaMentha-Australia) @ 38sec
3 Kenny ELISSONDE (Sky) @ 53sec
4 Cameron MEYER (KordaMentha-Australia) @ 1min 8sec
5 Michael STORER (KordaMentha-Australia) +1:10
6 Christopher FROOME (Sky) +1:12
7 Lucas HAMILTON (KordaMentha-Australia) +1:13
8 Nathan EARLE (KordaMentha-Australia) +1:15
9 Jhoan Esteban CHAVES (Orica-Scott) +1:15
10 Timothy ROE (IsoWhey Sports) +1:17
11 Ian BIBBY (JLT-Condor) +1:21
12 Janier Alexis ACEVEDO (United Healthcare) +1:28
13 Sebastian HENAO (Sky) +1:39
14 Cameron BAYLY (IsoWhey Sports) +1:45
15 Jesse FEATONBY (Drapac) +1:56
16 Benjamin DYBALL (St. George) +2:30
17 Jonathan CLARKE (United Healthcare) +2:44
18 Alistair DONOHOE (Attaque Gusto) +3:08
19 Dylan SUNDERLAND (NSW Institue of Sport) +3:43
20 Jason CHRISTIE (New Zealand) +4:33
21 Pavel BRUTT (Gazprom-RusVelo) +4:44
22 Lachlan NORRIS (United Healthcare) +5:16
23 Martijn TUSVELD (Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij) +6:17
24 Robbie HUCKER (IsoWhey Sports) +6:50
25 Daniel FITTER (NSW Institue of Sport) +6:55
26 Tanner PUTT (United Healthcare) +8:17
27 Cyrus MONK (Drapac) +10:12
28 James ORAM (New Zealand) +11:31
29 Simon GERRANS (Orica-Scott) +12:00
30 Jesse EWART (7 Eleven-Philippines) +12:34
31 Luke ROWE (Sky) +13:59
32 Lawrence WARBASSE (Aqua Blue Sport) +14:56
33 Taco VAN DER HOORN (Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij) +16:33
34 Steve LAMPIER (JLT-Condor) +17:17
35 Samuel JENNER (KordaMentha-Australia) +17:22
36 Sam DOBBS (New Zealand) +17:24
37 Mario VOGT (Attaque Gusto) +17:48
38 Jesper ASSELMAN (Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij) +17:50
39 Conor DUNNE (Aqua Blue Sport) +19:53
40 Travis MCCABE (United Healthcare) +20:46
41 Alistair SLATER (JLT-Condor) +21:01
42 Timothy GUY (Attaque Gusto) +21:04
43 Michael HEPBURN (Orica-Scott) +21:41
44 Nicholas KATSONIS (Drapac) +22:16
45 Nick VAN DER LIJKE (Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij) +22:51
46 Sergey NIKOLAEV (Gazprom-RusVelo) +23:19
47 Alexandr SHUSHEMOIN (Attaque Gusto) +23:20
48 Artur ERSHOV (Gazprom-RusVelo) +23:26
49 James GULLEN (JLT-Condor) +23:49
50 Ivan SAVITCKII (Gazprom-RusVelo) +23:58
51 Tim ARIESEN (Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij) +24:46
52 Marcelo FELIPE (7 Eleven-Philippines) +25:18
53 Aaron GATE (Aqua Blue Sport) +25:27
54 Drew MOREY (Drapac) +25:38
55 Greg HENDERSON (United Healthcare) +26:54
56 Mitch DOCKER (Orica-Scott) +27:11
57 Aleksei TCATEVICH (Gazprom-RusVelo) +27:15
58 Brad EVANS (Drapac) +27:18
59 Michel KREDER (Aqua Blue Sport) +27:38
60 Jacob KAUFFMANN (NSW Institue of Sport) +29:23
61 Benjamin HILL (Attaque Gusto) +30:37
62 Calvin WATSON (Aqua Blue Sport) +30:45
63 Ian STANNARD (Sky) +31:07
64 Brodie TALBOT (St. George) +31:47
65 Oliver KENT-SPARK (Drapac) +32:24
66 Joseph COOPER (IsoWhey Sports) +32:41
67 Jeroen MEIJERS (Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij) +32:58
68 Rustom LIM (7 Eleven-Philippines) +33:30
69 Nikolay TRUSOV (Gazprom-RusVelo) +34:01
70 Edgar Nohales NETO (7 Eleven-Philippines) +34:12
71 Alex FRAME (JLT-Condor) +34:30
72 Mathew ROSS (Drapac) +34:34
73 James FOUCHE (New Zealand) +36:26
74 Peter KONING (Aqua Blue Sport) +36:44
75 Guy KALMA (Attaque Gusto) +37:27
76 Brenton JONES (JLT-Condor) +37:42
77 Mark John Lexer GALEDO (7 Eleven-Philippines) +38:05
78 Angus LYONS (KordaMentha-Australia) +38:48
79 Taylor GUNMAN (New Zealand) +39:47
80 Ayden TOOVEY (NSW Institue of Sport) +39:49
81 Jesse KERRISON (IsoWhey Sports) +41:29
82 Rob POWER (Orica-Scott) +42:52
83 Josh BERRY (7 Eleven-Philippines) +43:06
84 Leigh HOWARD (Aqua Blue Sport) +44:37
85 Hamish SCHREURS (New Zealand) +46:24
86 Matthew ZENOVICH (New Zealand) +48:18
87 Kaden GROVES (St. George) +48:21
88 Joshua TAYLOR (NSW Institue of Sport) +48:31
89 Sam BEWLEY (Orica-Scott) +50:24
90 Adrian HEGYVARY (United Healthcare) +53:02
91 Philip MARTZ (Attaque Gusto) +54:22
92 Darcy ELLERM-NORTON (St. George) +56:47
93 Alex WOHLER (NSW Institue of Sport) +1h00:39
94 Jay DUTTON (St. George) +1h03:27
95 Thomas HUBBARD (St. George) +1h05:03
96 Kirill SVESHNIKOV (Gazprom-RusVelo) +1h05:57

Saturday, February 4: Stage 3, Benalla - Nagambie, 167.7 km

Travis McCabe

Travis McCabe wins stage 3

The race: Here's the organizer's telling of the stage story.

Arizona sprinter Travis McCabe made himself right at home in the heat of the Australian summer, confidently driving the UnitedHealthcare Blue Train to victory on Stage 3 of the Jayco Herald Sun Tour.

McCabe navigated his way through the crash-marred final kilometres to finish close to two bike lengths ahead of Mitch Docker (ORICA-Scott) and Leigh Howard (Aqua Blue Sport) with a group of just 16 riders contesting the win at Mitchelton Winery.

Overall leader Damien Howson (ORICA-Scott) was spared from having his advantaged diminish after he was caught behind the crashes, with the commissaires awarding bunch time. Howson maintains his 38 second lead over Jai Hindley (KordaMentha Australian National Team) with Kenny Elissonde (Team Sky) a further 15 seconds back.

The UnitedHealthcare sprinter had targeted the stage and had finished in the top 10 at the Prologue on Wednesday night. Adding to the pressure was the fact that the team came away with a sprint victory at the 2016 Jayco Herald Sun Tour and UnitedHealthcare was keen to double down.“Mitch attacked at 200 metres to go and I just knew I had the legs and so I went as soon as he did and held it to the line with a fairly decent gap so I’m really happy,” said McCabe, who is in his first year with the team and so was pleased to deliver a win so early in the season.

Nervousness in the peloton in the final kilometres, ahead of the technical finale, contributed to the two crashes that occurred inside the last five kilometres. The incidents also ruled out some of the pre-stage contenders even being in with a chance of attempting the win, including Danny van Poppel (Team Sky) and Brenton Jones (JLT Condor).

“The crash was unfortunate,” McCabe admitted. “It came down to a sprint but a lot of guys weren’t really there for it because of that crash. It would have been nice to see how my legs hold up against the true sprinters.”

The 27-year-old, who said that today’s win was on par with his victory at last year’s Tour of Utah, paid tribute to the efforts of his team for their navigation over the latter part of the 167.7km stage.

“It was about staying safe and out of trouble,” McCabe explained. “You are so close to everyone and everyone’s head butting and everyone’s fighting. I think the heat and that little climb took a lot of energy out of the legs. I think guys weren’t fully aware of what they were doing and caused the crash. Once I made it out of that and I came into that [final] corner third wheel behind Mitch Docker I knew I had a really good chance of winning.”

For Howson, it was a second straight day of high-stress racing after his mechanical nearly put an end to his stint in the yellow jersey on Friday. “It was another nervous day,” he said. “The sprinters had their chance today and everyone was fighting and jostling for position in that final five kilometres. It made for some dangerous, exciting racing but I’m happy to get through unscathed.”

The story of the race –

A final selection for the day’s breakaway took over 25km of racing to settle, after an early attempt of 16 riders including Howson and Chris Froome (Team Sky) failed to content the peloton.

Eventually, Jeroen Meijers (Roompot – Nederlandse Loterij), Pavel Brutt (Gazprom – Rusvelo), Adrian Hegyvary (UnitedHealthcare), Aaron Gate (Aqua Blue Sport), Anthony Giacoppo (IsoWhey Sport Swisswellness), Drew Morey (Drapac Pat’s Veg), Darcy Ellerm-Norton (St George), Hamish Schreurs (New Zealand National Team) and Dylan Sunderland (NSWIS) were allowed to forge on up the road.

Meijers took both KOM primes on offer but was unable to make a dent in the classification lead of Ben Hill (Attaque Team Gusto). Likewise for the sprint primes, with none of the breakaway riders in contention to challenge the 10-point lead of Jake Kauffman (NSWIS).

After 113km of racing, the nine riders in the breakaway were given their maximum amount of rope by the peloton, with a gap of just over four-and-a-half-minutes. That gave Brutt the virtual leadership of the yellow jersey, starting the day 3min44sec behind Howson but soon after, the peloton decided enough was enough and began to reel the group in.

Cross winds buffeted the peloton with 30km remaining, with some riders struggling to hold on. Soon after, the breakaway’s game was up with Team Sky and JLT Condor leading the chase. With the race back together, and the technical finish looming, a touch of wheels brought down swathes of riders. Craig Evers (7 Eleven – Sava RBP) was taken to hospital for a suspected broken collarbone while many riders suffered grazing.

Howson will have to battle to stay in yellow at the end of tomorrow’s finale at Kinglake. It’s a battle that he’s ready for with the chance for his name to join the likes of Tour de France winners Brad Wiggins and Froome.

“I’ve seen that honour rolls and it’s an extensive list of quality bike riders,” Howson said. “I can’t jump ahead of myself. I still have an epic day tomorrow to conquer and after that hopefully it’s champagne showers all around and I’ll be very happy to join that list.”

Complete results:

167.7 kilometers raced at an average speed of 44.5 km/hr

1 Travis MCCABE (United Healthcare) 3hr 46min 0sec
2 Mitch DOCKER (Orica-Scott) s.t.
3 Leigh HOWARD (Aqua Blue Sport) s.t.
4 Luke ROWE (Sky) s.t.
5 Aleksei TCATEVICH (Gazprom-RusVelo) s.t.
6 Benjamin HILL (Attaque Gusto) s.t.
7 Ivan SAVITCKII (Gazprom-RusVelo) s.t.
8 Jesper ASSELMAN (Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij) s.t.
9 Jesse KERRISON (IsoWhey Sports) s.t.
10 Brad EVANS (Drapac) s.t.
11 Daniel FITTER (NSW Institute of Sport) s.t.
12 Ian BIBBY (JLT-Condor) s.t.
13 Nick VAN DER LIJKE (Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij) s.t.
14 Taco VAN DER HOORN (Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij) s.t.
15 Michael HEPBURN (Orica-Scott) s.t.
16 Nathan EARLE (KordaMentha-Australia) s.t.
17 Michel KREDER (Aqua Blue Sport) s.t.
18 Marcelo FELIPE (7 Eleven-Philippines) s.t.
19 Kenny ELISSONDE (Sky) s.t.
20 Janier Alexis ACEVEDO (United Healthcare) s.t.
21 Damien HOWSON (Orica-Scott) s.t.
22 Cyrus MONK (Drapac) s.t.
23 Nikolay TRUSOV (Gazprom-RusVelo) s.t.
24 Tanner PUTT (United Healthcare) s.t.
25 Martijn TUSVELD (Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij) s.t.
26 Timothy GUY (Attaque Gusto) s.t.
27 Pavel BRUTT (Gazprom-RusVelo) s.t.
28 Michael STORER (KordaMentha-Australia) s.t.
29 Aaron GATE (Aqua Blue Sport) s.t.
30 Jason CHRISTIE (New Zealand) s.t.
31 Sam BEWLEY (Orica-Scott) s.t.
32 Lawrence WARBASSE (Aqua Blue Sport) s.t.
33 Sergey NIKOLAEV (Gazprom-RusVelo) s.t.
34 Jesse EWART (7 Eleven-Philippines) s.t.
35 Samuel JENNER (KordaMentha-Australia) s.t.
36 Benjamin DYBALL (St. George) s.t.
37 Cameron MEYER (KordaMentha-Australia) s.t.
38 Alistair SLATER (JLT-Condor) s.t.
39 Kirill SVESHNIKOV (Gazprom-RusVelo) s.t.
40 Artur ERSHOV (Gazprom-RusVelo) s.t.
41 Simon GERRANS (Orica-Scott) s.t.
42 Jesse FEATONBY (Drapac) s.t.
43 Jonathan CLARKE (United Healthcare) s.t.
44 Lachlan NORRIS (United Healthcare) s.t.
45 Alistair DONOHOE (Attaque Gusto) s.t.
46 Jhoan Esteban CHAVES (Orica-Scott) s.t.
47 Guy KALMA (Attaque Gusto) s.t.
48 Dylan SUNDERLAND (NSW Institute of Sport) s.t.
49 Jai HINDLEY (KordaMentha-Australia) s.t.
50 Lucas HAMILTON (KordaMentha-Australia) s.t.
51 Anthony GIACOPPO (IsoWhey Sports) s.t.
52 Timothy ROE (IsoWhey Sports) s.t.
53 Mario VOGT (Attaque Gusto) @ 2min 31sec
54 Alexandr SHUSHEMOIN (Attaque Gusto) s.t.
55 Josh BERRY (7 Eleven-Philippines) s.t.
56 Oliver KENT-SPARK (Drapac) 0
57 Mathew ROSS (Drapac) 0
58 Nicholas KATSONIS (Drapac) +2:31
59 Conor DUNNE (Aqua Blue Sport) 0
60 Peter KONING (Aqua Blue Sport) 0
61 Cameron BAYLY (IsoWhey Sports) 0
62 Jacob KAUFFMANN (NSW Institute of Sport) 0
63 Danny VAN POPPEL (Sky) 0
64 Christopher FROOME (Sky) 0
65 Sebastian HENAO GOMEZ (Sky) 0
66 Tim ARIESEN (Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij) +2:58
67 Jeroen MEIJERS (Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij) s.t.
68 Philip MARTZ (Attaque Gusto) s.t.
69 Ayden TOOVEY (NSW Institute of Sport) s.t.
70 Ian STANNARD (Sky) s.t.
71 Sam DOBBS (New Zealand) s.t.
72 Brenton JONES (JLT-Condor) 0
73 Hamish SCHREURS (New Zealand) +2:58
74 Edmund BRADBURY (JLT-Condor) 0
75 James ORAM (New Zealand) +3:16
76 Taylor GUNMAN (New Zealand) s.t.
77 Patrick SHARPE (St. George) s.t.
78 Joshua TAYLOR (NSW Institute of Sport) s.t.
79 Darcy ELLERM-NORTON (St. George) s.t.
80 Drew MOREY (Drapac) s.t.
81 Joseph COOPER (IsoWhey Sports) s.t.
82 Robbie HUCKER (IsoWhey Sports) 0
83 Alex FRAME (JLT-Condor) 0
84 Kaden GROVES (St. George) +4:54
85 James FOUCHE (New Zealand) 0
86 Alex WOHLER (NSW Institute of Sport) 0
87 Calvin WATSON (Aqua Blue Sport) +5:58
88 Steve LAMPIER (JLT-Condor) s.t.
89 Brodie TALBOT (St. George) s.t.
90 Adrian HEGYVARY (United Healthcare) s.t.
91 Sjoerd VAN GINNEKEN (Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij) +4:54
92 Mark John Lexer GALEDO (7 Eleven-Philippines) +3:16
93 Edgar Nohales NETO (7 Eleven-Philippines) +5:58
94 Thomas HUBBARD (St. George) s.t.
95 Jay DUTTON (St. George) +2:31
96 Rustom LIM (7 Eleven-Philippines) +5:58
97 James GULLEN (JLT-Condor) s.t.
98 Rob POWER (Orica-Scott) s.t.
99 Matthew ZENOVICH (New Zealand) s.t.
100 Greg HENDERSON (United Healthcare) +4:54
101 Angus LYONS (KordaMentha-Australia) +2:31

GC after Stage 3:

1 Damien HOWSON (Orica-Scott) 12hr 32min 12sec
2 Jai HINDLEY (KordaMentha-Australia) @ 38sec
3 Kenny ELISSONDE (Sky) @ 53sec
4 Cameron MEYER (KordaMentha-Australia) @ 1min 8sec
5 Michael STORER (KordaMentha-Australia) +1:10
6 Christopher FROOME (Sky) +1:12
7 Lucas HAMILTON (KordaMentha-Australia) +1:13
8 Nathan EARLE (KordaMentha-Australia) +1:15
9 Jhoan Esteban CHAVES (Orica-Scott) s.t.
10 Timothy ROE (IsoWhey Sports) +1:17
11 Ian BIBBY (JLT-Condor) +1:26
12 Janier Alexis ACEVEDO (United Healthcare) +1:28
13 Edmund BRADBURY (JLT-Condor) +1:35
14 Jonathan CLARKE (United Healthcare) +1:40
15 Sebastian HENAO GOMEZ (Sky) +1:43
16 Cameron BAYLY (IsoWhey Sports) +1:45
17 Jesse FEATONBY (Drapac) +1:56
18 Lachlan NORRIS (United Healthcare) +1:57
19 Alistair DONOHOE (Attaque Gusto) +2:04
20 Benjamin DYBALL (St. George) +2:30
21 Pavel BRUTT (Gazprom-RusVelo) +3:40
22 Dylan SUNDERLAND (NSW Institute of Sport) +3:43
23 Jason CHRISTIE (New Zealand) +4:51
24 Martijn TUSVELD (Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij) +5:39
25 Lawrence WARBASSE (Aqua Blue Sport) +7:03
26 Robbie HUCKER (IsoWhey Sports) +7:07
27 Daniel FITTER (NSW Institute of Sport) +7:16
28 Simon GERRANS (Orica-Scott) +7:27
29 Tanner PUTT (United Healthcare) +8:03
30 Jesse EWART (7 Eleven-Philippines) +10:23
31 Cyrus MONK (Drapac) +10:35
32 James ORAM (New Zealand) +11:40
33 Mario VOGT (Attaque Gusto) +12:35
34 Steve LAMPIER (JLT-Condor) +12:44
35 Luke ROWE (Sky) +12:47
36 Samuel JENNER (KordaMentha-Australia) +13:05
37 Sam DOBBS (New Zealand) +14:21
38 Timothy GUY (Attaque Gusto) +15:26
39 Conor DUNNE (Aqua Blue Sport) +16:34
40 Artur ERSHOV (Gazprom-RusVelo) +16:53
41 Taco VAN DER HOORN (Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij) +16:54
42 Jesper ASSELMAN (Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij) +16:59
43 Drew MOREY (Drapac) +19:05
44 Sjoerd VAN GINNEKEN (Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij) +19:08
45 Michael HEPBURN (Orica-Scott) +19:30
46 Jacob KAUFFMANN (NSW Institute of Sport) +19:40
47 Nicholas KATSONIS (Drapac) +20:05
48 Travis MCCABE (United Healthcare) +21:03
49 Alexandr SHUSHEMOIN (Attaque Gusto) +21:09
50 Greg HENDERSON (United Healthcare) +21:16
51 Alistair SLATER (JLT-Condor) +21:18
52 Mitch DOCKER (Orica-Scott) +21:58
53 Aleksei TCATEVICH (Gazprom-RusVelo) +22:02
54 Brad EVANS (Drapac) +22:05
55 Nick VAN DER LIJKE (Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij) +22:13
56 Sergey NIKOLAEV (Gazprom-RusVelo) +22:15
57 James GULLEN (JLT-Condor) +22:23
58 Oliver KENT-SPARK (Drapac) +22:41
59 Brodie TALBOT (St. George) +22:49
60 Ivan SAVITCKII (Gazprom-RusVelo) +23:20
61 Marcelo FELIPE (7 Eleven-Philippines) +24:40
62 Tim ARIESEN (Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij) +24:56
63 Jeroen MEIJERS (Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij) +25:05
64 Calvin WATSON (Aqua Blue Sport) +25:32
65 Aaron GATE (Aqua Blue Sport) +25:50
66 Guy KALMA (Attaque Gusto) +26:44
67 Michel KREDER (Aqua Blue Sport) +26:47
68 Anthony GIACOPPO (IsoWhey Sports) +27:05
69 Joseph COOPER (IsoWhey Sports) +27:28
70 Rustom LIM (7 Eleven-Philippines) +28:17
71 James FOUCHE (New Zealand) +28:33
72 Brenton JONES (JLT-Condor) +29:49
73 Rob POWER (Orica-Scott) +30:02
74 Taylor GUNMAN (New Zealand) +30:04
75 Ayden TOOVEY (NSW Institute of Sport) +30:06
76 Edgar Nohales NETO (7 Eleven-Philippines) +30:21
77 Patrick SHARPE (St. George) +30:30
78 Benjamin HILL (Attaque Gusto) +30:54
79 Angus LYONS (KordaMentha-Australia) +30:55
80 Alex FRAME (JLT-Condor) +31:11
81 Nikolay TRUSOV (Gazprom-RusVelo) +31:12
82 Ian STANNARD (Sky) +31:34
83 Mathew ROSS (Drapac) +31:45
84 Mark John Lexer GALEDO (7 Eleven-Philippines) +32:04
85 Jesse KERRISON (IsoWhey Sports) +34:13
86 Danny VAN POPPEL (Sky) +35:28
87 Peter KONING (Aqua Blue Sport) +35:32
88 Leigh HOWARD (Aqua Blue Sport) +36:44
89 Hamish SCHREURS (New Zealand) +38:31
90 Matthew ZENOVICH (New Zealand) +38:35
91 Joshua TAYLOR (NSW Institute of Sport) +38:48
92 Sam BEWLEY (Orica-Scott) +39:16
93 Kaden GROVES (St. George) +40:28
94 Philip MARTZ (Attaque Gusto) +40:40
95 Josh BERRY (7 Eleven-Philippines) +40:55
96 Adrian HEGYVARY (United Healthcare) +41:29
97 Darcy ELLERM-NORTON (St. George) +43:05
98 Kirill SVESHNIKOV (Gazprom-RusVelo) +49:48
99 Alex WOHLER (NSW Institute of Sport) +50:56
100 Jay DUTTON (St. George) +53:44
101 Thomas HUBBARD (St. George) +57:10

Friday, February 3: Stage 2, Mt. Beauty - Beechworth, 165.5 km

Luke Rowe

Luke Rowe gets to finish with his hands off the bars

The race: Here's the report from stage winner Luke Rowe's Team Sky.

Luke Rowe led a sensational breakaway win on stage two of the Herald Sun Tour to record Team Sky’s second win in the race. Rowe was in a group of 10 that spent nearly 140km in the lead, before he led a splinter group of four which he then dropped to ride solo to his first win since 2012.

He was awarded the most aggressive rider on the day on the 165.6 kilometre stage from Mount Beauty to Beechworth which saw him leave the peloton behind a little after the 20km mark.

The group of 10 was then whittled down to a foursome, which contained Conor Dunne (Aqua Blue Sport), Tanner Putt (UnitedHealthcare) and Robbie Hucker (IsoWhey Sports SwissWellness).

However, Rowe was able to maintain a pace that his fellow escapees were unable to match, which left him on his own to claim his first win for over four years.

Rowe revealed that a break was always on the cards and that  the plan was hatched with Sport Director Brett Lancaster the previous night with Ian Stannard. 
He told TeamSky.com: “Last night I already said to Brett that we should try and go for a breakaway so we assigned myself and Yogi (Stannard) to go in the break so it was always the plan to go.

“The whole day I was wary of a few guys and there were some excellent climbers in the break and it was just a case of trying to use them up to the best of my advantage and I opened up a decent gap straight away so I enjoyed the last 20km solo.

The win represented Rowe’s first victory since taking a stage of the 2012 Tour of Britain and the 26-year-old chuckled: “It’s been a while, it’s been an ongoing joke. I haven’t won anything for a long time. I kind of forgot how to do it all so it’s nice to get the hands in the air.”

Complete Results:

165.5 kilometers raced at an average speed of 40.0 km/hr

1 Luke ROWE (Sky) 4hr 8min 23sec
2 Conor DUNNE (Aqua Blue Sport) @ 33sec
3 Tanner PUTT (United Healthcare) 56
4 Robbie HUCKER (IsoWhey Sports) 57
5 Steve LAMPIER (JLT-Condor) s.t.
6 Cameron MEYER (KordaMentha-Australia) @ 1min 12sec
7 Martijn TUSVELD (Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij) s.t.
8 Janier Alexis ACEVEDO CALLE (United Healthcare) s.t.
9 Ian BIBBY (JLT-Condor) s.t.
10 Lucas HAMILTON (KordaMentha-Australia) s.t.
11 Alistair DONOHOE (Attaque-Gusto) s.t.
12 Nathan EARLE (KordaMentha-Australia) s.t.
13 Dylan SUNDERLAND (NSW Institute of Sport) s.t.
14 Ivan SAVITCKII (Gazprom-RusVelo) s.t.
15 Cyrus MONK (Drapac) s.t.
16 Aleksei TCATEVICH (Gazprom-RusVelo) s.t.
17 Edmund BRADBURY (JLT-Condor) s.t.
18 Lachlan NORRIS (United Healthcare) s.t.
19 Timothy ROE (IsoWhey Sports) s.t.
20 Jonathan CLARKE (United Healthcare) s.t.
21 Christopher FROOME (Sky) s.t.
22 Jason CHRISTIE (New Zealand) s.t.
23 Damien HOWSON (Orica-Scott) s.t.
24 Michael STORER (KordaMentha-Australia) s.t.
25 Jhoan Esteban CHAVES RUBIO (Orica-Scott) s.t.
26 Tim ARIESEN (Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij) s.t.
27 Kenny ELISSONDE (Sky) s.t.
28 Pavel BRUTT (Gazprom-RusVelo) s.t.
29 Benjamin DYBALL (St. George) s.t.
30 Jai HINDLEY (KordaMentha-Australia) s.t.
31 Jesse FEATONBY (Drapac) s.t.
32 James ORAM (New Zealand) s.t.
33 Cameron BAYLY (IsoWhey Sports) s.t.
34 Sebastian HENAO GOMEZ (Sky) s.t.
35 Nicholas KATSONIS (Drapac) +1:25
36 Mario VOGT (Attaque-Gusto) +3:50
37 Jacob KAUFFMANN (NSW Institute of Sport) s.t.
38 Marcelo FELIPE (7 Eleven-Philippines) s.t.
39 Aaron GATE (Aqua Blue Sport) +3:54
40 Scott BOWDEN (IsoWhey Sports) s.t.
41 Daniel FITTER (NSW Institute of Sport) s.t.
42 Jesse EWART (7 Eleven-Philippines) s.t.
43 Jesper ASSELMAN (Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij) s.t.
44 Travis MCCABE (United Healthcare) s.t.
45 Sjoerd VAN GINNEKEN (Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij) s.t.
46 Taco VAN DER HOORN (Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij) s.t.
47 Lawrence WARBASSE (Aqua Blue Sport) s.t.
48 Sam DOBBS (New Zealand) +6:03
49 Alexandr SHUSHEMOIN (Attaque-Gusto) s.t.
50 Timothy GUY (Attaque-Gusto) s.t.
51 Michael HEPBURN (Orica-Scott) s.t.
52 Rustom LIM (7 Eleven-Philippines) s.t.
53 Nick VAN DER LIJKE (Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij) s.t.
54 Jeroen MEIJERS (Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij) s.t.
55 James GULLEN (JLT-Condor) s.t.
56 Sergey NIKOLAEV (Gazprom-RusVelo) s.t.
57 Michel KREDER (Aqua Blue Sport) s.t.
58 Alistair SLATER (JLT-Condor) s.t.
59 Brad EVANS (Drapac) s.t.
60 Taylor GUNMAN (New Zealand) s.t.
61 Guy KALMA (Attaque-Gusto) s.t.
62 Simon GERRANS (Orica-Scott) s.t.
63 Greg HENDERSON (United Healthcare) s.t.
64 Mark John Lexer GALEDO (7 Eleven-Philippines) +6:31
65 Artur ERSHOV (Gazprom-RusVelo) s.t.
66 Ian STANNARD (Sky) s.t.
67 Drew MOREY (Drapac) s.t.
68 Edgar Nohales NETO (7 Eleven-Philippines) s.t.
69 Mathew ROSS (Drapac) s.t.
70 Oliver KENT-SPARK (Drapac) s.t.
71 Calvin WATSON (Aqua Blue Sport) s.t.
72 Samuel JENNER (KordaMentha-Australia) s.t.
73 Danny VAN POPPEL (Sky) s.t.
74 Anthony GIACOPPO (IsoWhey Sports) s.t.
75 James FOUCHE (New Zealand) s.t.
76 Brodie TALBOT (St. George) s.t.
77 Patrick SHARPE (St. George) s.t.
78 Ayden TOOVEY (NSW Institute of Sport) s.t.
79 Joseph COOPER (IsoWhey Sports) s.t.
80 Jesse KERRISON (IsoWhey Sports) +9:16
81 Brenton JONES (JLT-Condor) s.t.
82 Alex FRAME (JLT-Condor) s.t.
83 Matthew ZENOVICH (New Zealand) +10:31
84 Rob POWER (Orica-Scott) s.t.
85 Nikolay TRUSOV (Gazprom-RusVelo) s.t.
86 Josh BERRY (7 Eleven-Philippines) +14:51
87 Philip MARTZ (Attaque-Gusto) s.t.
88 Darcy ELLERM-NORTON (St. George) s.t.
89 Kaden GROVES (St. George) s.t.
90 Thomas HUBBARD (St. George) s.t.
91 Benjamin HILL (Attaque-Gusto) s.t.
92 Mitch DOCKER (Orica-Scott) s.t.
93 Sam BEWLEY (Orica-Scott) s.t.
94 Craig EVERS (7 Eleven-Philippines) s.t.
95 Peter KONING (Aqua Blue Sport) s.t.
96 Leigh HOWARD (Aqua Blue Sport) s.t.
97 Jay DUTTON (St. George) s.t.
98 Alex WOHLER (NSW Institute of Sport) s.t.
99 Adrian HEGYVARY (United Healthcare) s.t.
100 Hamish SCHREURS (New Zealand) s.t.
101 Angus LYONS (KordaMentha-Australia) s.t.
102 Joshua TAYLOR (NSW Institute of Sport) s.t.
103 Kirill SVESHNIKOV (Gazprom-RusVelo) s.t.

GC after Stage 2:

1 Damien HOWSON (Orica-Scott) 8hr 46min 12sec
2 Jai HINDLEY (KordaMentha-Australia) @ 38sec
3 Kenny ELISSONDE (Sky) 53
4 Cameron MEYER (KordaMentha-Australia) @ 1min 8sec
5 Michael STORER (KordaMentha-Australia) +1:10
6 Christopher FROOME (Sky) +1:12
7 Lucas HAMILTON (KordaMentha-Australia) +1:13
8 Nathan EARLE (KordaMentha-Australia) +1:15
9 Jhoan Esteban CHAVES RUBIO (Orica-Scott) s.t.
10 Timothy ROE (IsoWhey Sports) +1:17
11 Ian BIBBY (JLT-Condor) +1:26
12 Janier Alexis ACEVEDO CALLE (United Healthcare) +1:28
13 Edmund BRADBURY (JLT-Condor) +1:35
14 Jonathan CLARKE (United Healthcare) +1:40
15 Sebastian HENAO GOMEZ (Sky) +1:43
16 Cameron BAYLY (IsoWhey Sports) +1:45
17 Jesse FEATONBY (Drapac) +1:56
18 Lachlan NORRIS (United Healthcare) +1:57
19 Alistair DONOHOE (Attaque-Gusto) +2:04
20 Benjamin DYBALL (St. George) +2:30
21 Dylan SUNDERLAND (NSW Institute of Sport) +3:43
22 Pavel BRUTT (Gazprom-RusVelo) +3:44
23 Jason CHRISTIE (New Zealand) +4:51
24 Martijn TUSVELD (Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij) +5:39
25 Scott BOWDEN (IsoWhey Sports) +5:59
26 Steve LAMPIER (JLT-Condor) +6:46
27 Lawrence WARBASSE (Aqua Blue Sport) +7:03
28 Robbie HUCKER (IsoWhey Sports) +7:07
29 Daniel FITTER (NSW Institute of Sport) +7:16
30 Simon GERRANS (Orica-Scott) +7:27
31 Tanner PUTT (United Healthcare) +8:03
32 James ORAM (New Zealand) +8:24
33 Mario VOGT (Attaque-Gusto) +10:04
34 Jesse EWART (7 Eleven-Philippines) +10:23
35 Cyrus MONK (Drapac) +10:35
36 Sam DOBBS (New Zealand) +11:23
37 Luke ROWE (Sky) +12:47
38 Samuel JENNER (KordaMentha-Australia) +13:05
39 Sjoerd VAN GINNEKEN (Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij) +14:14
40 Timothy GUY (Attaque-Gusto) +15:26
41 Drew MOREY (Drapac) +15:49
42 Greg HENDERSON (United Healthcare) +16:22
43 James GULLEN (JLT-Condor) +16:25
44 Conor DUNNE (Aqua Blue Sport) +16:34
45 Brodie TALBOT (St. George) +16:51
46 Artur ERSHOV (Gazprom-RusVelo) +16:53
47 Taco VAN DER HOORN (Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij) +16:54
48 Jesper ASSELMAN (Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij) +16:59
49 Nicholas KATSONIS (Drapac) +17:34
50 Alexandr SHUSHEMOIN (Attaque-Gusto) +18:38
51 Michael HEPBURN (Orica-Scott) +19:30
52 Calvin WATSON (Aqua Blue Sport) +19:34
53 Jacob KAUFFMANN (NSW Institute of Sport) +19:40
54 Travis MCCABE (United Healthcare) +21:13
55 Alistair SLATER (JLT-Condor) +21:18
56 Tim ARIESEN (Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij) +21:58
57 Aleksei TCATEVICH (Gazprom-RusVelo) +22:02
58 Mitch DOCKER (Orica-Scott) +22:04
59 Brad EVANS (Drapac) +22:05
60 Jeroen MEIJERS (Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij) +22:07
61 Nick VAN DER LIJKE (Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij) +22:13
62 Sergey NIKOLAEV (Gazprom-RusVelo) +22:15
63 Rustom LIM (7 Eleven-Philippines) +22:19
64 Oliver KENT-SPARK (Drapac) +22:41
65 Ivan SAVITCKII (Gazprom-RusVelo) +23:20
66 Rob POWER (Orica-Scott) +24:04
67 Joseph COOPER (IsoWhey Sports) +24:12
68 Edgar Nohales NETO (7 Eleven-Philippines) +24:23
69 Marcelo FELIPE (7 Eleven-Philippines) +24:40
70 Aaron GATE (Aqua Blue Sport) +25:53
71 Guy KALMA (Attaque-Gusto) +26:44
72 Michel KREDER (Aqua Blue Sport) +26:47
73 Taylor GUNMAN (New Zealand) +26:48
74 Anthony GIACOPPO (IsoWhey Sports) +27:06
75 Ayden TOOVEY (NSW Institute of Sport) +27:09
76 Patrick SHARPE (St. George) +27:14
77 Angus LYONS (KordaMentha-Australia) +28:24
78 James FOUCHE (New Zealand) +28:33
79 Ian STANNARD (Sky) +28:36
80 Mark John Lexer GALEDO (7 Eleven-Philippines) +28:48
81 Brenton JONES (JLT-Condor) +29:49
82 Benjamin HILL (Attaque-Gusto) +30:54
83 Alex FRAME (JLT-Condor) +31:11
84 Nikolay TRUSOV (Gazprom-RusVelo) +31:12
85 Mathew ROSS (Drapac) +31:45
86 Matthew ZENOVICH (New Zealand) +32:37
87 Jesse KERRISON (IsoWhey Sports) +34:13
88 Danny VAN POPPEL (Sky) +35:28
89 Adrian HEGYVARY (United Healthcare) +35:31
90 Peter KONING (Aqua Blue Sport) +35:32
91 Joshua TAYLOR (NSW Institute of Sport) +35:32
92 Hamish SCHREURS (New Zealand) +35:33
93 Kaden GROVES (St. George) +35:34
94 Leigh HOWARD (Aqua Blue Sport) +36:48
95 Philip MARTZ (Attaque-Gusto) +37:42
96 Josh BERRY (7 Eleven-Philippines) +38:24
97 Sam BEWLEY (Orica-Scott) +39:16
98 Darcy ELLERM-NORTON (St. George) +39:52
99 Craig EVERS (7 Eleven-Philippines) +45:51
100 Kirill SVESHNIKOV (Gazprom-RusVelo) +49:48
101 Alex WOHLER (NSW Institute of Sport) +50:56
102 Thomas HUBBARD (St. George) +51:12
103 Jay DUTTON (St. George) +51:13

Thursday, February 2: Stage 1, Tawonga Gap - Falls Creek, 174.2 km

Damien Howsen

Damien Howson takes stage 1

The race: Here's the story from stage winner Damien Howson's Orica-Scott team:

Dynamite domestique Damien Howson has claimed his first ever win for Orica-Scott atop Falls Creek on stage one of the Jayco Herald Sun Tour today. Howson was one of four cards the team had to play on the Queen stage that featured a 30km climb to the finish.

Whilst all of the focus was on Colombian climber Esteban Chaves, Howson, who is regularly Chaves’ final support man in the mountains in Europe, made the most of his opportunity for a solo victory, his first in three and a half years.

“This is my first win in these colours and it’s been a long spell without a win,” Howson said. “I have been living my successes through others which I am always happy to do, but it’s nice to get a little bit of glory today.”

“We always knew we had a lot of cards to play. We had Simon Gerrans who has obviously won this race in the past, Esteban Chaves who is one of the best climbers in the world and obviously our leader here, and also Rob Power who might be new to the team but we all know his climbing prowess.

“Any one of us could have won today. We threw it out there, had the numbers, and it all fell into place for me today.”

The 24-year-old attacked the peloton alongside Kenny Elissonde (Team Sky) in the first half of the famous climb, the duo catching and passing the remnants of the day’s earlier breakaway to then lead inside the final 10 kilometres. After a number of attacks between the pair, it was Howson who was too strong as he put in a final effort with two kilometres remaining to drop the Frenchman. Young Australian Jai Hindley finished strongly for second place ahead of Elissonde who held on for third.

“It was a bit of a cat and mouse game between myself and Kenny,” Howson explained. “It was about making sure you still had the legs to finish it off but knowing you had options behind too. In the end it was one of those dream scenarios where you have enough time to think about a finish salute.”

With three stages remaining, Howson leads the overall competition by 38seconds to Hindley and 53seconds to Elissonde. Chris Froome sits at 1:12, with Chaves at 1:15.

“Team Sky are one of the world’s strongest teams so I guarantee they are going to throw everything they have (at us),” Howson predicted. “There’s still a lot of tough stages to come, but I also have a very strong team behind me.”

How it happened:

The first road stage also served as the Queen stage as riders set off to make the journey from Wangaratta to Falls Creek, via the Tawonga Gap climb. A breakaway of eight riders made the first move of the race, establishing a lead of just under eight minutes before Team Sky headed to the front of the peloton to control their advantage.

The break led over the Tawonga Gap climb, which didn't disrupt the relaxed peloton, and later started the final 30km Fall Creek climb with a two-minute advantage.

Power was in the first attack for Orica-Scott on the final ascent but it was the move of Howson and Elissonde that was game changing.

As the duo battled in the final four kilometres, the attacks started from behind, including between Chaves and Froome who battled in attempt to drop each other. Leaving nothing to chance, Howson attacked with two kilometres to go to win solo as the main group of favourites sprinted across the line in a little over one-minute later.

Complete Results:

174.2 kilometers raced at an average speed of 38.2 km/hr

1 Damien HOWSON (Orica-Scott) 4hr 33min 54sec
2 Jai HINDLEY (KordaMentha-Australia) @ 32sec
3 Kenny ELISSONDE (Sky) @ 47sec
4 Michael STORER (KordaMentha-Australia) @ 1min 3sec
5 Jhoan Esteban CHAVES RUBIO (Orica-Scott) +1:10
6 Christopher FROOME (Sky) +1:11
7 Nathan EARLE (KordaMentha-Australia) s.t.
8 Lucas HAMILTON (KordaMentha-Australia) s.t.
9 Cameron MEYER (KordaMentha-Australia) +1:13
10 Timothy ROE (IsoWhey Sports) +1:15
11 Janier Alexis ACEVEDO CALLE (United Healthcare) +1:21
12 Ian BIBBY (JLT-Condor) +1:28
13 Edmund BRADBURY (JLT-Condor) +1:33
14 Jonathan CLARKE (United Healthcare) s.t.
15 Sebastian HENAO GOMEZ (Sky) +1:43
16 Cameron BAYLY (IsoWhey Sports) +1:47
17 Jesse FEATONBY (Drapac) +1:49
18 Alistair DONOHOE (Attaque-Gusto) +1:51
19 Lachlan NORRIS (United Healthcare) +1:56
20 Benjamin DYBALL (St George) +2:25
21 Simon GERRANS (Orica-Scott) +2:39
22 Scott BOWDEN (IsoWhey Sports) +3:14
23 Dylan SUNDERLAND (NSW Institute of Sport) +3:40
24 Pavel BRUTT (Gazprom-RusVelo) s.t.
25 Lawrence WARBASSE (Aqua Blue Sport) +4:17
26 Daniel FITTER (NSW Institute of Sport) +4:36
27 Jason CHRISTIE (New Zealand) +4:49
28 Martijn TUSVELD (Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij) +5:33
29 Sam DOBBS (New Zealand) +6:33
30 Steve LAMPIER (JLT-Condor) +7:04
31 Jesse EWART (7 Eleven-Philippines) +7:28
32 Mario VOGT (Attaque-Gusto) s.t.
33 Robbie HUCKER (IsoWhey Sports) +7:31
34 Samuel JENNER (KordaMentha-Australia) +7:42
35 James ORAM (New Zealand) +8:21
36 Tanner PUTT (United Healthcare) +8:26
37 Mitch DOCKER (Orica-Scott) s.t.
38 Timothy GUY (Attaque-Gusto) +10:32
39 Cyrus MONK (Drapac) s.t.
40 Drew MOREY (Drapac) s.t.
41 Brodie TALBOT (St George) +11:35
42 Greg HENDERSON (United Healthcare) s.t.
43 Sjoerd VAN GINNEKEN (Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij) s.t.
44 Artur ERSHOV (Gazprom-RusVelo) s.t.
45 James GULLEN (JLT-Condor) s.t.
46 Alexandr SHUSHEMOIN (Attaque-Gusto) +13:43
47 Calvin WATSON (Aqua Blue Sport) +14:16
48 Luke ROWE (Sky) s.t.
49 Jesper ASSELMAN (Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij) s.t.
50 Taco VAN DER HOORN (Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij) s.t.
51 Michael HEPBURN (Orica-Scott) +14:48
52 Rob POWER (Orica-Scott) s.t.
53 Angus LYONS (KordaMentha-Australia) s.t.
54 Alistair SLATER (JLT-Condor) +16:30
55 Nick VAN DER LIJKE (Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij) +17:19
56 Jeroen MEIJERS (Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij) s.t.
57 Oliver KENT-SPARK (Drapac) s.t.
58 Jacob KAUFFMANN (NSW Institute of Sport) s.t.
59 Brad EVANS (Drapac) s.t.
60 Sergey NIKOLAEV (Gazprom-RusVelo) s.t.
61 Rustom LIM (7 Eleven-Philippines) s.t.
62 Benjamin HILL (Attaque-Gusto) s.t.
63 Nicholas KATSONIS (Drapac) s.t.
64 Conor DUNNE (Aqua Blue Sport) s.t.
65 Travis MCCABE (United Healthcare) +18:38
66 Edgar Nohales NETO (7 Eleven-Philippines) +18:52
67 Joseph COOPER (IsoWhey Sports) +19:00
68 Tim ARIESEN (Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij) +21:55
69 Michel KREDER (Aqua Blue Sport) s.t.
70 Brenton JONES (JLT-Condor) s.t.
71 Joshua TAYLOR (NSW Institute of Sport) s.t.
72 Kaden GROVES (St George) s.t.
73 Anthony GIACOPPO (IsoWhey Sports) s.t.
74 Aleksei TCATEVICH (Gazprom-RusVelo) s.t.
75 Peter KONING (Aqua Blue Sport) s.t.
76 Hamish SCHREURS (New Zealand) s.t.
77 Taylor GUNMAN (New Zealand) s.t.
78 Nikolay TRUSOV (Gazprom-RusVelo) s.t.
79 Adrian HEGYVARY (United Healthcare) s.t.
80 Ayden TOOVEY (NSW Institute of Sport) s.t.
81 Patrick SHARPE (St George) s.t.
82 Marcelo FELIPE (7 Eleven-Philippines) s.t.
83 Guy KALMA (Attaque-Gusto) s.t.
84 Aaron GATE (Aqua Blue Sport) +23:17
85 Matthew ZENOVICH (New Zealand) s.t.
86 Alex FRAME (JLT-Condor) s.t.
87 James FOUCHE (New Zealand) s.t.
88 Ivan SAVITCKII (Gazprom-RusVelo) s.t.
89 Leigh HOWARD (Aqua Blue Sport) s.t.
90 Mark John Lexer GALEDO (7 Eleven-Philippines) s.t.
91 Ian STANNARD (Sky) s.t.
92 Philip MARTZ (Attaque-Gusto) +24:00
93 Josh BERRY (7 Eleven-Philippines) +24:36
94 Sam BEWLEY (Orica-Scott) +25:43
95 Jesse KERRISON (IsoWhey Sports) +26:17
96 Darcy ELLERM-NORTON (St George) s.t.
97 Mathew ROSS (Drapac) s.t.
98 Danny VAN POPPEL (Sky) +30:20
99 Craig EVERS (7 Eleven-Philippines) +31:53
100 Kirill SVESHNIKOV (Gazprom-RusVelo) +36:09
101 Alex WOHLER (NSW Institute of Sport) +37:19
102 Thomas HUBBARD (St George) +37:30
103 Jay DUTTON (St George) s.t.

GC after stage 2:

1 Damien HOWSON (Orica-Scott) 4hhr 36min 32sec
2 Jai HINDLEY (KordaMentha-Australia) @ 38sec
3 Kenny ELISSONDE (Sky) @ 53sec
4 Michael STORER (KordaMentha-Australia) @ 1min 10sec
5 Christopher FROOME (Sky) +1:12
6 Cameron MEYER (KordaMentha-Australia) +1:13
7 Lucas HAMILTON (KordaMentha-Australia) s.t.
8 Nathan EARLE (KordaMentha-Australia) +1:15
9 Jhoan Esteban CHAVES RUBIO (Orica-Scott) s.t.
10 Timothy ROE (IsoWhey Sports) +1:17
11 Ian BIBBY (JLT-Condor) +1:26
12 Janier Alexis ACEVEDO CALLE (United Healthcare) +1:28
13 Edmund BRADBURY (JLT-Condor) +1:35
14 Jonathan CLARKE (United Healthcare) +1:40
15 Sebastian HENAO GOMEZ (Sky) +1:43
16 Cameron BAYLY (IsoWhey Sports) +1:45
17 Jesse FEATONBY (Drapac) +1:56
18 Lachlan NORRIS (United Healthcare) +1:57
19 Alistair DONOHOE (Attaque-Gusto) +2:04
20 Benjamin DYBALL (St George) +2:30
21 Simon GERRANS (Orica-Scott) +2:41
22 Scott BOWDEN (IsoWhey Sports) +3:22
23 Dylan SUNDERLAND (NSW Institute of Sport) +3:43
24 Pavel BRUTT (Gazprom-RusVelo) +3:44
25 Lawrence WARBASSE (Aqua Blue Sport) +4:26
26 Daniel FITTER (NSW Institute of Sport) +4:39
27 Jason CHRISTIE (New Zealand) +4:51
28 Martijn TUSVELD (Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij) +5:39
29 Sam DOBBS (New Zealand) +6:37
30 Steve LAMPIER (JLT-Condor) +7:08
31 Robbie HUCKER (IsoWhey Sports) +7:31
32 Mario VOGT (Attaque-Gusto) s.t.
33 Jesse EWART (7 Eleven-Philippines) +7:46
34 Samuel JENNER (KordaMentha-Australia) +7:51
35 James ORAM (New Zealand) +8:24
36 Tanner PUTT (United Healthcare) +8:28
37 Mitch DOCKER (Orica-Scott) +8:30
38 Cyrus MONK (Drapac) +10:35
39 Drew MOREY (Drapac) s.t.
40 Timothy GUY (Attaque-Gusto) +10:40
41 Greg HENDERSON (United Healthcare) +11:36
42 Sjoerd VAN GINNEKEN (Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij) +11:37
43 Brodie TALBOT (St George) s.t.
44 James GULLEN (JLT-Condor) +11:39
45 Artur ERSHOV (Gazprom-RusVelo) s.t.
46 Alexandr SHUSHEMOIN (Attaque-Gusto) +13:52
47 Luke ROWE (Sky) +14:14
48 Taco VAN DER HOORN (Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij) +14:17
49 Calvin WATSON (Aqua Blue Sport) +14:20
50 Jesper ASSELMAN (Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij) +14:22
51 Michael HEPBURN (Orica-Scott) +14:44
52 Angus LYONS (KordaMentha-Australia) +14:50
53 Rob POWER (Orica-Scott) s.t.
54 Alistair SLATER (JLT-Condor) +16:32
55 Jacob KAUFFMANN (NSW Institute of Sport) +17:13
56 Brad EVANS (Drapac) +17:19
57 Benjamin HILL (Attaque-Gusto) +17:20
58 Jeroen MEIJERS (Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij) +17:21
59 Conor DUNNE (Aqua Blue Sport) +17:24
60 Nicholas KATSONIS (Drapac) +17:26
61 Oliver KENT-SPARK (Drapac) +17:27
62 Nick VAN DER LIJKE (Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij) s.t.
63 Sergey NIKOLAEV (Gazprom-RusVelo) +17:29
64 Rustom LIM (7 Eleven-Philippines) +17:33
65 Travis MCCABE (United Healthcare) +18:36
66 Joseph COOPER (IsoWhey Sports) +18:58
67 Edgar Nohales NETO (7 Eleven-Philippines) +19:09
68 Brenton JONES (JLT-Condor) +21:50
69 Anthony GIACOPPO (IsoWhey Sports) +21:52
70 Ayden TOOVEY (NSW Institute of Sport) +21:55
71 Adrian HEGYVARY (United Healthcare) +21:57
72 Tim ARIESEN (Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij) +21:58
73 Peter KONING (Aqua Blue Sport) s.t.
74 Nikolay TRUSOV (Gazprom-RusVelo) s.t.
75 Guy KALMA (Attaque-Gusto) s.t.
76 Joshua TAYLOR (NSW Institute of Sport) s.t.
77 Hamish SCHREURS (New Zealand) +21:59
78 Kaden GROVES (St George) +22:00
79 Patrick SHARPE (St George) s.t.
80 Michel KREDER (Aqua Blue Sport) +22:01
81 Taylor GUNMAN (New Zealand) +22:02
82 Aleksei TCATEVICH (Gazprom-RusVelo) s.t.
83 Marcelo FELIPE (7 Eleven-Philippines) +22:07
84 Alex FRAME (JLT-Condor) +23:12
85 Leigh HOWARD (Aqua Blue Sport) +23:14
86 Aaron GATE (Aqua Blue Sport) +23:16
87 James FOUCHE (New Zealand) +23:19
88 Ivan SAVITCKII (Gazprom-RusVelo) +23:20
89 Ian STANNARD (Sky) +23:22
90 Matthew ZENOVICH (New Zealand) +23:23
91 Mark John Lexer GALEDO (7 Eleven-Philippines) +23:34
92 Philip MARTZ (Attaque-Gusto) +24:08
93 Josh BERRY (7 Eleven-Philippines) +24:50
94 Sam BEWLEY (Orica-Scott) +25:42
95 Jesse KERRISON (IsoWhey Sports) +26:14
96 Darcy ELLERM-NORTON (St George) +26:18
97 Mathew ROSS (Drapac) +26:31
98 Danny VAN POPPEL (Sky) +30:14
99 Craig EVERS (7 Eleven-Philippines) +32:17
100 Kirill SVESHNIKOV (Gazprom-RusVelo) +36:14
101 Alex WOHLER (NSW Institute of Sport) +37:22
102 Thomas HUBBARD (St George) +37:38
103 Jay DUTTON (St George) +37:39

Wednesday, February 1: Melbourne 2.1 km prologue

Prologue map

Danny van Poppel

Danny van Poppel raced the prologue at nearly 50 km/hr

The race: Here's the report from winner Danny van Poppel's Team Sky.

Danny van Poppel claimed the yellow jersey on the prologue stage of the Herald Sun Tour with a blistering course record. Van Poppel broke the previous best on the 2.1 kilometer course around Melbourne en route to securing Team Sky’s first win of the season.

The flying Dutchman recorded a time of 2:23:56 finishing ahead of JLT Condor pair Brenton Jones and Alex Frame who both finished a second behind, and the 23 year old was confident of his abilities ahead of the prologue.

He told TeamSky.com: “It was strange for me, I’m usually contesting sprints and here I was sat in the hot seat waiting to see if anyone could beat me! I have won a prologue in the past so I knew I was good to do a time trial over a short distance and I was really focused on this.

“It’s summer here in Australia and there are some track riders and it is difficult to know who is fast or not. t was a first win for me and a first win for the team. I had it already in my mind to win this at the Sun Tour and I did".

Elsewhere, Luke Rowe finished 11th with Sebastian Henao (16th) and Chris Froome (26th) also inside the top 30.

Complete Results & GC:

2.1 kilometers raced at an average speed of 49.7 km/hr

1 Danny van Poppel Sky 2min 32sec
2 Brenton Jones JLT-Condor @ 1sec
3 Alex Frame JLT-Condor s.t.
4 Michael Hepburn Orica-Scott +2''
5 Leigh Howard Aqua Blue Sport +3''
6 Anthony Giacoppo IsoWhey Sports s.t.
7 Jesse Kerrison IsoWhey Sports s.t.
8 Ian Bibby JLT-Condor +4''
9 Travis McCabe United Healthcare s.t.
10 Cameron Bayly IsoWhey Sports s.t.
11 Luke Rowe Sky s.t.
12 Joe Cooper IsoWhey Sports s.t.
13 Sam Bewley Orica-Scott +5''
14 Aaron Gate Aqua Blue Sport s.t.
15 Ayden Toovey NSW Institute of Sport +6''
16 Sebastián Henao Sky s.t.
17 Robbie Hucker IsoWhey Sports s.t.
18 Cameron Meyer Korda Mentha-Australia s.t.
19 Damien Howson Orica-Scott s.t.
20 Brad Evans Drapac s.t.
21 Jacob Kauffmann NSW Institute of Sport s.t.
22 Greg Henderson United Healthcare +7''
23 Taco van der Hoorn Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij s.t.
24 Darcy Ellerm-Norton St George s.t.
25 Lachlan Norris United Healthcare s.t.
26 Chris Froome Sky s.t.
27 James Fouche New Zealand +8''
28 Simon Gerrans Orica-Scott s.t.
29 Tim Roe IsoWhey Sports s.t.
30 Jason Christie New Zealand s.t.
31 Jeroen Meijers Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij s.t.
32 Ben Hill Attaque-Gusto s.t.
33 Angus Lyons Korda Mentha-Australia s.t.
34 Adrian Hegyvary United Healthcare s.t.
35 Lucas Hamilton Korda Mentha-Australia s.t.
36 Edmund Bradbury JLT-Condor s.t.
37 Brodie Talbot St George s.t.
38 Tanner Putt United Healthcare s.t.
39 Alistair Slater JLT-Condor s.t.
40 Robert Power Orica-Scott +9''
41 Tim Ariesen Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij s.t.
42 Dylan Sunderland NSW Institute of Sport s.t.
43 Peter Koning Aqua Blue Sport s.t.
44 Daniel Fitter NSW Institute of Sport s.t.
45 Nikolai Trussov Gazprom s.t.
46 Cyrus Monk Drapac s.t.
47 Alex Wohler NSW Institute of Sport s.t.
48 James Oram New Zealand s.t.
49 Guy Kalma Attaque-Gusto s.t.
50 Mario Vogt Attaque-Gusto s.t.
51 Ivan Savitsky Gazprom s.t.
52 Joshua Taylor NSW Institute of Sport s.t.
53 Drew Morey Drapac +10''
54 Steve Lampier JLT-Condor s.t.
55 Mitch Docker Orica-Scott s.t.
56 Pavel Brutt Gazprom s.t.
56 James Gullen JLT-Condor s.t.
58 Nathan Earle Korda Mentha-Australia s.t.
59 Hamish Schreur New Zealand s.t.
60 Sam Dobbs New Zealand s.t.
61 Calvin Watson Aqua Blue Sport s.t.
62 Artur Ershov Gazprom s.t.
63 Ian Stannard Sky +11''
64 Esteban Chaves Orica-Scott s.t.
65 Kaden Groves St George s.t.
66 Patrick Sharpe St George s.t.
67 Benjamin Dyball St George s.t.
68 Kirill Sveshnikov Gazprom s.t.
69 Conor Dunne Aqua Blue Sport s.t.
70 Martijn Tusveld Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij +12''
71 Sjoerd van Ginneken Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij s.t.
72 Michel Kreder Aqua Blue Sport s.t.
73 Jesper Asselman Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij s.t.
74 Kenny Elissonde Sky s.t.
75 Jai Hindley Korda Mentha-Australia s.t.
76 Mathew Zenovich New Zealand s.t.
77 Michael Storer Korda Mentha-Australia +13''
78 Nicholas Katsonis Drapac s.t.
79 Jánier Acevedo United Healthcare s.t.
80 Taylor Gunman New Zealand s.t.
81 Jesse Featonby Drapac s.t.
82 Alexey Tsatevich Gazprom s.t.
83 Jonathon Clarke United Healthcare s.t.
84 Alder Martz Attaque-Gusto +14''
85 Oliver Kent-Spark Drapac s.t.
86 Scott Bowden IsoWhey Sports s.t.
87 Nick van der Lijke Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij s.t.
88 Thomas Hubbard St George s.t.
89 Timothy Guy Attaque-Gusto s.t.
90 Samuel Jenner Korda Mentha-Australia +15''
91 Ryan Cavanagh NSW Institute of Sport s.t.
92 Jay Dutton St George s.t.
93 Larry Warbasse Aqua Blue Sport s.t.
94 Alexandre Shushemoin Attaque-Gusto s.t.
95 Sergey Nikolaev Gazprom +16''
96 Marcelo Felipe 7 Eleven-Philippines +18''
97 Alistair Donohoe Attaque-Gusto +19''
98 Josh Berry 7 Eleven-Philippines +20''
99 Rustom Lim 7 Eleven-Philippines s.t.
100 Mathew Ross Drapac +21''
101 Edgar Nohales 7 Eleven-Philippines +23''
102 Mark John Lexer Guevarra 7 Eleven-Philippines s.t.
103 Jesse Ewart 7 Eleven-Philippines +24''
104 Craig Evers 7 Eleven-Philippines +30''

Prologue map

prologue map