Press Release: Leigh Howard, 19, has continued his winning form this time scoring victory in the Classic Astico – Brenta in Italy.
The race is one of the most prestgious amateur events in the Italian race calendar and saw Howard sprint home at the head of an eight man breakaway group that finished more than two minutes ahead of the peloton.
Howard, who races with the Jayco – AIS team but was in national team colours for this race, was helped greatly by team mate Jack Bobridge who was in the original break that escaped two kilometres into the 192km race. Bobridge sat on the front of the lead group for the last ten kilometres to set Howard up for the winning sprint.
Thomas Tree was second with Padua Stefano Agostini in third place. Bobridge finished eighth at six seconds.
Howard’s win comes on the back of his overall victory in the five-day Tour of Slovakia which finished on Sunday.
“It was a fantastic tour for me all around really,” said Howard of the Slovakian event. “The satisfaction for me to win a tour overall is something I hadn’t yet experienced in an international race, so that was a big motivational high. We also only had four riders left after the first day, which makes it really hard to control a race, so the whole team did a great job all week helping me stay out of trouble and keep the breaks under control.”
Next year Howard will join the ProTour ranks after signing with Team Columbia-HTC.