Damien Howson closed his amateur career with a World Championship gold medal in Florence today. The Aussie, soon to be riding with home team Orica-GreenEdge, won the under 23 time trial ahead of France’s Yoann Paillot and Denmark’s Lasse Norman Hansen.
Howson said, “It was one of the better TTs I’ve ever done.”
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The 21-year-old sat flanked by his rivals in the press conference, both pleased with their medals even if not gold. Howson topped Paillot’s provisional best time by 57 seconds. Favourite Hanson finished last, 1-10 minutes behind Howson.
“There were no secrets, just going fast on the flat course,” last year’s bronze medallist added. “I won the Australian and Oceania time trials this year and I sat this Worlds as my next goal.”
As with the women’s team time trial yesterday, the Under 23’s 43.49-kilometre course began in Pistoia and travelled southeast to Florence. Howson clocked 49-49.97 minutes, averaging 52.326kph. He managed his power over the technical run through the city of Dante and Renaissance.
“Florence is a beautiful city; I’m happy to finish there,” Howson said. “It has the Duomo, cobbles, some technical corners that mixes well with the first kilometres that are pancake flat and straight.”
Howson will compete with the Australian team in the road race on Friday and Orica in 2014. “I’m excited for next year,” he added. “I’m up for the next level of my career.”
No British riders took part in the event.
Under-23 men’s individual time trial world championship
1. Damien Howson (Australia) in 49-49-97
2. Yoann Paillot (France) at 57secs
3. Lasse Hansen (Denmark) at 1-10
4. Campbell Flakemore (Australia) at 1-22
5. Lawson Craddock (USA) at 1-41
6. Stefan Kueng (Switzerland) at 1-46
7. Ryan Mullen (Ireland) at 1-47
8. Victor Campenaerts (Belgium) at 1-48
9. Danil Fominykh (Kazakhstan) at 2-05
10. Eduardo Sepulveda (Argentina) at 2-10
Damien Howson wins
The new world champion, Damien Howson