On stage 2 at the Herald Sun Tour it was a late puncture that almost felled Damien Howson's overall aspirations and 24 hours later it was two crashes in quick succession that almost took down the race leader on the technical and fast run in to Mitchelton Winery.
The Orica-Scott rider successfully navigated the falls, explaining he was "in the middle and kind of weaving my way out of it."
"The sprinters had their chance today and of course everyone was fighting and jostling for position in that final five kilometres so it made for some dangerous and exciting racing but I am happy to get through unscathed," he added.
Howson crossed the line in 21st place with Travis McCabe taking the win ahead of Orica-Scott's Mitch Docker after a crash with 4km to go and then another with 1.5km remaining thinned the peloton out.
"Once again, the team was fabulous and supported me all through today and essentially didn't have to ever go too hard," he said.
"They were always sheltering me, and that is the amazing team I have around me, and we'll be up for it tomorrow and hopefully this time tomorrow the success continues and I'll have this jersey to keep."
The 24-year-old domestique is enjoying his moment in the limelight at the Herald Sun Tour after claiming a debut professional victory atop Falls Creek. Howson had never previously led a race in the professional ranks prior to Thursday but appears to have taken to the task like a duck to water, despite the dramas of the last two days.
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