Alex Howes (Cannondale-Drapac) hung on to his lead from the top of the last climb to go over the finish line first at Windsor Park, Edmonton on Sunday. It was the second consecutive win for his team in the 2017 Tour of Alberta. His team mate, Wouter Wippert, who won yesterday’s stage in Spruce Grove, came in close behind to take second place. Colin Joyce (Rally) picked up the third podium spot.
The peloton stayed together for the first few rounds of the 11 lap circuit that began close to the University of Alberta then headed down to the North Saskatchewan River and north through the city before looping back. A breakaway group of five riders including Nigel Ellsay (Silber Pro Cycling) got away and held their lead until the penultimate lap before being picked up by the bunch.
Howes talked about his team’s race strategy after his win: “We wanted to make it an aggressive race and beat up on Rally a bit, then we missed the break. But we knew Wouter (Wippert) was the best guy out there so we wanted to do a good sprint for him.”
Howes added: “A lot of the guys were pretty gassed at the top (of the final climb) and he (Wippert) yelled at me to go.” said Howes. “I had a little gap and just kept rolling it. He ran in second and I think he just basically let me win”
Overall lead in the tour remains with Evan Huffman of Rally Cycling, with a small cushion of 18 seconds ahead of his team-mate, Sepp Kuss. Howes moves into third place in the general classification (GC) with his team-mate Tom-Jelte Slagter in fourth. It looks like the fourth and final stage of the 546 km road race which goes around the streets of Edmonton again on Monday is poised for a USA team battle between Cannondale-Drapac and Rally.
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