Owain Doull’s ambitions to step up in 2019 have been boosted as the Welshman took his first pro win at the Herald Sun Tour.
The 25-year-old was aided by the experience of team-mate Luke Rowe, with the Team Sky pairing made it into the nine-man breakaway on stage three.
Doull and Rowe attacked escapees in the final five kilometres and were able to get clear to take the top two positions.
After the stage, Doull said: “We thought it could be a day for the breakaway as a few teams might let it go.
“Me and Luke kind of purposefully lost a bit of time [on stage two] to give us a bit of rope in the break.
“At one stage I thought it was going to come back together when Mitchelton-Scott getting involved, but the whole group worked really well today and we held off.
“There was the big crash and I think everyone sat up and waited, I think Michael Woods [race leader, EF Education First] was involved so we all sat up and waited for him, but then the break went away and after about 10km I was able to jump away and get across solo and it was a solid day out in front.”
The stage was a 161km run from Sale to Warragul, backloaded with lumpy terrain in southern Australia.
Doull turned pro with Sky in 2017 and recently admitted he felt “out of his depth” in his first season.
But in 2018 he said he was able to impose himself on races more and was looking to continue that development into the new year.
Doull is the second British stage winner of this year’s Herald Sun Tour, after EF Education First sprinter Dan McLay took the opening stage.
McLay’s team-mate Woods still holds the leader’s jersey heading into the penultimate stage.