Leigh Howard has ambitions to support Matt Goss at Milan San Remo
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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Leigh Howard has ambitions to support Matt Goss at Milan San Remo

by Xylon van Eyck at 12:29 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Interviews
Youngster says winning in Oman is a great memory

Leigh HowardLooking towards his first season with new GreenEdge team, promising young Australian sprinter Leigh Howard has pinpointed two events that he wants to ride early on in the season.

“At this stage I don't really know a lot about my race program. All I know is for the first part of the season I would like to target Tour Down Under and Milan San Remo in support of Matt Goss,” he told VeloNation.

The 22 year old burst onto the racing scene last year by winning a stage in the Tour of Oman, his debut race as a professional with HTC-Highroad. He then went on to win Kampioenschap van Vlaanderen and rack up a number of top ten results through out the season.

Now, after two seasons with the American team, he’s transferring to the new Australian GreenEdge setup. That squad has hesitated in signing a Grand Tour leader for its first season in the peloton, opting instead to go with sprinters and riders who can target week-long stage races.

Its marquee sprinter is Milan San Remo winner Goss, a current team-mate of Howard. Having already worked together should make things easier next year, and Howard will aim to help Goss early on while also picking up experience.

When asked what he has thought of his professional debut so far he highlights one race in particular. “My most memorable race so far would have been Tour of Oman stage four when I won my first race as a professional,” he said.

“I would say I'm a sprinter, but I would like to say I'm a sprinter that can climb pretty well when I need to. I think my prologue ability comes from my track background.”

The Australian competed in his first Grand Tour this year when he raced the Vuelta a España. He told VeloNation he has learnt a lot, something he will more than likely continue to do from team-mate to be and veteran sprinter Robbie McEwen.

“I think the biggest thing I learnt about myself is how to read how my body is feeling,” he said. “When to push harder in training and when to take it easy if I am starting to get sick.”

GreenEdge will learn soon if it will be in the WorldTour next season. If so, that will grant it automatic access to races such as the Tour de France and the major Classics. Howard is likely to start his second Grand Tour should this happen and it would be no surprise should he make an impact.


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