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Rowsell Wins Opening stage of Tour Doon Hame
Erick Rowsell won the first stage of the Tour Doon Hame today, outsprinting Richard Handley (Rapha Condor-Sharp) and Mike Northey (Node 4 Giordana) in Girvan, Scotland.
Part of a 13 man break that got away early on in the race, victory for Erick came from a three man group after he and his teammate Alexander Wetterhall had attacked and counter attacked their way to the finish.
The group started to lose numbers over the climbs as Erick explained. "Over the 2nd cat climb it was real hard and grippy and real windy. Alexander put the hammer down to get the mountain points as he was going for that jersey and that just split the group with the strongest guys in the front. The three of us got away from the rest as we knew the bunch was coming up and catching us. Alexander attacked first and then I went and got the gap and took two guys with me."
For the sprint though, Rowsell had to second guess where the threat would come from. "I knew Richard Handley a little from racing at him at Normandy but didn't know how either of them were going to be in the sprint and I don't have the best sprint myself, but I felt confident and waited instead of trying to go on my own."
It's Erick's first Yellow jersey as a senior and defending it he says will be a good experience. “I'm part of the best team in the race and I wouldn't want to be part of any other team defending this yellow jersey."
It's great to win my first Premier. I've won abroad and it’s really great to win at home. Winning a Premier was one of the targets for the year and I did that today.
The break went pretty much 5k into the race. There were hard quite grippy roads right from the start and a few guys put the hammer down which caused a split in the bunch and we had numbers (3) in it so we started to drive. Node 4 as well were driving it and once we had the gap, that was it.
Julian Winn, Directeur Sportif:
The strategy for today was pretty much what they did to be honest. We wanted numbers in the break, that was the most important thing and with three in the leading group, I was happy with that. And we had one of the GC guys in it which was Erick.
They did a really good job. We wanted to win the seconds (bonuses) on the road which everybody did but we had Erick there and he's got the fire in his belly at the moment. It was mission accomplished exactly as we had talked about. Everything we wanted to do today, we did.
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Report and photo by Larry Hickmott | www.VeloUK.net
Video by Cyclevox for British Cycling's Premier Calendar YouTube Channel