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Howson powers to U23 men's time trial title

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Quite the stunning venue for time trial Worlds

Quite the stunning venue for time trial Worlds (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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2013 U23 time trial world champion Damien Howson (Australia) steps on the podium to receive his gold medal and rainbow jersey

2013 U23 time trial world champion Damien Howson (Australia) steps on the podium to receive his gold medal and rainbow jersey (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Damien Howson (Australia) dominated the U23 men's TT world championship with a time nearly one-minute faster than his closest rival.

Damien Howson (Australia) dominated the U23 men's TT world championship with a time nearly one-minute faster than his closest rival. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Yoann Paillot (France) spent some time in the hot seat but had to settle for the silver medal in the U23 men's time trial world championship

Yoann Paillot (France) spent some time in the hot seat but had to settle for the silver medal in the U23 men's time trial world championship (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Damien Howson (Australia) scorched the U23 time trial Worlds parcours and put nearly a minute into the next-fastest finisher.

Damien Howson (Australia) scorched the U23 time trial Worlds parcours and put nearly a minute into the next-fastest finisher. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Florence, Italy providing quite the backdrop for the time trial world championships

Florence, Italy providing quite the backdrop for the time trial world championships (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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No time for sight seeing as Lasse Norman Hansen (Denmark) powers to a bronze medal in the U23 men's time trial world championship

No time for sight seeing as Lasse Norman Hansen (Denmark) powers to a bronze medal in the U23 men's time trial world championship (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Newly crowned U23 men's TT champion Damien Howson (Australia) soaks it all in in the podium

Newly crowned U23 men's TT champion Damien Howson (Australia) soaks it all in in the podium (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Davide Martinelli (Italy) in action during the U23 men's time trial world championship

Davide Martinelli (Italy) in action during the U23 men's time trial world championship (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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2013 U23 men's time trial world champion Damien Howson (Australia) on the podium

2013 U23 men's time trial world champion Damien Howson (Australia) on the podium (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Damien Howson (Australia) scorched the parcours to take home the gold medal in the U23 men's time trial world championship

Damien Howson (Australia) scorched the parcours to take home the gold medal in the U23 men's time trial world championship (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Damien Howson (Australia) en route to a world championship in the U23 men's time trial

Damien Howson (Australia) en route to a world championship in the U23 men's time trial (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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2013 U23 men's TT world championship podium (L-R): Yoann Paillot (France), Damien Howson (Australia) and Lasse Norman Hansen (Denmark)

2013 U23 men's TT world championship podium (L-R): Yoann Paillot (France), Damien Howson (Australia) and Lasse Norman Hansen (Denmark) (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Damien Howson (Australia) with his gold medal and rainbow jersey after winning the U23 men's time trial world championship

Damien Howson (Australia) with his gold medal and rainbow jersey after winning the U23 men's time trial world championship (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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2013 U23 men's TT world championship podium (L-R): Yoann Paillot (France), Damien Howson (Australia) and Lasse Norman Hansen (Denmark)

2013 U23 men's TT world championship podium (L-R): Yoann Paillot (France), Damien Howson (Australia) and Lasse Norman Hansen (Denmark) (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Damien Howson (Australia) blasted to victory in the Under 23 men's time trial at the world championships, adding a rainbow jersey to his green and gold Australian Under-23 national champion's jersey and his Oceania title.

The Adelaide-born rider set a time of 49:49, covering the pan flat 43.5km course from Pistoia to Florence at an average of 52.3km/h. Howson beat Yoann Paillot (France) by a massive 57 seconds, while Lasse Norman Hansen (Denmark) finished third at 1:10.

Campbell Flakemore (Australia) finished fourth, just off the podium, 1:22 behind his compatriot. The USA's Lawson Craddock finished fifth, 1:41 down after being affected by a mid-race crash. Ireland's Ryan Mullen was seventh at 1:47.

Howson took third place last year but will have little chance to show off his rainbow jersey, as he will ride with Orica-GreenEdge in 2014 after signing a multi-year deal with the Australian WorldTour team. He is widely considered to be a future Grand Tour winner and seems to have the potential to follow in the footsteps of Cadel Evans, Michael Rogers and Richie Porte.

"At the start of the season I won the Australian and Oceania titles and so set myself the goal of taking all three. This has been a major focus of mine all year, so I'm so happy to have done it," Howson said after pulling on his rainbow jersey.

The time trial was all about power, speed and aerodynamics. Howson’s ride was a perfect balance of all three. He is tall and powerful but not muscular, resembling Bradley Wiggins more than Fabian Cancellara.

Howson has the strength to push out the watts needed to ride at over 50km/h and combines it with a near perfect aero position on the bike. He is able to keep a flat back despite his tall build, with his arms tucked in close together to help him penetrate the air as smoothly as possible. He follows the same race strategy for every time trial he rides.

"I always try and maintain a constant pace from start to the finish. I focus on what I can do best. I was told I was doing a good ride and I think this is one of the best rides I've ever done. I'm happy about that."

Howson had a taste of riding with Orica-GreenEdge as a stagiaire at the Tour of Utah. He will make the full step up in 2014, with the dream of developing into a Grand Tour contender.

"I was happy to sign a contract with Orica-GreenEdge 2014," he said. "I rode against some WorldTour teams at the Tour Down Under and got a taste of racing with them in Utah. It was a great. I met the guys and learnt about the differences between Under 23 racing and the top level racing. I'm excited for next year and for the future."

Paillot takes silver for France

Silver medalist Paillot is the current French and European time trial champion and already rides as a professional with the La Pomme Marseille Continental team, which no doubt helped him take on the other Under-23 riders.

"When I saw the course, I knew I was one of favourites and this pushed me to do better. I'm happy with silver," he said, confirming he will stay with La Pomme Marseille next year.

"We've got a good programme of races and we've done well this year. I hope to ride in the WorldTour some time in the future but I'm happy at La Pomme Marseille for now."

Lasse Norman Hansen completed the podium, taking bronze. Like Howson, he will also ride in the WorldTour in 2014, with Garmin-Sharp. He won Olympic gold in the Omnium on the track but hopes to become a cobbled classics contender during his professional career.

"I was really hoping to be good today. I think I timed my form well and did a perfect ride but Damien was better today," he said sportingly.

"I was leading by less than a second at the first split but that was because my plan was to start fast and try to hold my pace. But I died a bit between the splits and just wasn't fast enough."

Howson, Paillot, and Hansen will all ride in Friday's Under 23 road race, as the leading cycling nations clash on the tough circuit around Florence.

Full Results
1Damien Howson (Australia)0:49:49.97
2Yoann Paillot (France)0:00:57.11
3Lasse Norman Hansen (Denmark)0:01:10.13
4Campbell Flakemore (Australia)0:01:22.30
5Lawson Craddock (United States of America)0:01:41.38
6Stefan Kueng (Switzerland)0:01:46.75
7Ryan Mullen (Ireland)0:01:47.09
8Victor Campenaerts (Belgium)0:01:47.71
9Daniil Fominykh (Kazakhstan)0:02:05.73
10Eduardo Sepulveda (Argentina)0:02:10.55
11Frederik Frison (Belgium)0:02:31.55
12Maximilian Schachmann (Germany)0:02:32.73
13Jasha Sütterlin (Germany)0:02:37.44
14Yves Lampaert (Belgium)0:02:37.66
15Marlen Zmorka (Ukraine)0:02:39.11
16Oleksandr Golovash (Ukraine)0:02:40.52
17Brayan Stiven Ramirez Chacon (Colombia)0:02:41.73
18Szymon Rekita (Poland)0:02:42.38
19Alexander Evtushenko (Russian Federation)0:02:43.19
20Rasmus Brandstrup Sterobo (Denmark)0:02:49.11
21Nathan Brown (United States of America)0:02:52.94
22Marcus Fåglum Karlsson (Sweden)0:03:02.58
23Dylan Van Baarle (Netherlands)0:03:06.66
24Lukasz Wisniowski (Poland)0:03:07.38
25Louis Meintjes (South Africa)0:03:25.12
26James Oram (New Zealand)0:03:27.80
27Viktor Manakov (Russian Federation)0:03:28.83
28Marcus Christie (Ireland)0:03:34.27
29Davide Martinelli (Italy)0:03:40.47
30Alexis Gougeard (France)0:03:41.44
31Amund Grøndahl Jansen (Norway)0:03:52.36
32Ioannis Spanopoulos (Greece)0:03:54.18
33Alexander Cataford (Canada)0:04:05.51
34Rafael Ferreira Reis (Portugal)0:04:08.42
35Bruno Maltar (Croatia)0:04:14.58
36Michael Vink (New Zealand)0:04:15.64
37Mario Gonzalez Salas (Spain)0:04:16.24
38Felix Grossschartner (Austria)0:04:19.18
39Josef Cerny (Czech Republic)0:04:19.51
40Andzs Flaksis (Latvia)0:04:20.20
41Truls Engen Korsaeth (Norway)0:04:24.45
42Zydrunas Savickas (Lithuania)0:04:31.51
43Gabriel Chavanne (Switzerland)0:04:45.37
44Meron Teshome Hagos (Eritrea)0:04:46.13
45Daniel Turek (Czech Republic)0:04:52.08
46Zhandos Bizhigitov (Kazakhstan)0:04:54.73
47Andris Vosekalns (Latvia)0:04:58.36
48Sjors Roosen (Netherlands)0:04:59.89
49Simone Antonini (Italy)0:05:09.82
50Tsgabu Gebremaryam Grmay (Ethiopia)0:05:15.41
51Facundo Lezica (Argentina)0:05:23.26
52Viktor Okishev (Kazakhstan)0:05:29.04
53Endrik Puntso (Estonia)0:05:40.33
54Johannes Christoffel Nel (South Africa)0:05:50.97
55Matej Mohoric (Slovenia)0:05:52.75
56Jose Luis Rodriguez (Chile)0:05:54.84
57Mark Dzamastagic (Slovenia)0:06:13.42
58Carlos Eduardo Quisphe-Quishpe (Ecuador)0:06:23.79
59Burr Ho (Hong Kong, China)0:06:29.87
60Mekseb Debesay (Eritrea)0:06:43.26
61Lukas Pöstlberger (Austria)0:06:47.43
62Feritcan Samli (Turkey)0:06:59.95
63Eduard Michael Grosu (Romania)0:07:04.70
64Zoltan Sipos (Romania)0:07:07.12
65Paulius Siskevicius (Lithuania)0:07:16.89
66Ábel Kenyeres (Hungary)0:07:25.50
67Mikel Iturria Segurola (Spain)0:07:31.24
68Edison Bravo (Chile)0:07:33.75
69Oleg Sergeev (Israel)0:08:15.99
70Cristian Raileanu (Republic of Moldova)0:08:17.32
71Adil Barbari (Algeria)0:09:29.63
72Adrian Alvarado (Chile)0:09:55.63
73Emiljano Stojku (Albania)0:10:28.89
74Ilhan Celik (Turkey)0:12:14.74

 

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