uses cookies for statistics and targeting ads. This information is shared with third parties.

Every day we bring you more pro-cycling news

After the race had been shortened just a 21km criterium due to windy conditions, Howard made it into a three-rider group that sprinted for the win at Clasica de Almeria; he beat Tsatevich and his teammate Saramotins in the battle for victory

Photo: Sirotti










14.02.2016 @ 15:19 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Leigh Howard (IAM) brought a three-year drought to an end when he took his first victory for his new IAM team in a shortened edition of the Spanish one-day race Clasica de Almeria. After windy conditions had forced the organizers to reduce the race to just a 21km criterium in Almeria, he joined forces with teammate Aleksejs Saramotins to create a three-rider break on the final lap of the seven-lap criterium and then he beat Alexei Tsatevich (Katusha) and his teammate in the sprint to claim the seventh win of his career.


When he won a stage of the Tour of Oman as a neo-professional, Leigh Howard was tipped to become one of the future top sprinters. However, his progress stalled and after he joined Orica-GreenEDGE, he disappeared into an anonymous role as a lead-out man.


Howard made the decision to move to IAM for the 2015 season as the Swiss team aimed to use him as part of their lead-out train for Metto Pelucchi. However, he did nothing to hide that he also harboured personal ambitions and he showed that he was ready to grab his chances when he sprinted to second behind the lone Peter Kennaugh at the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race.


Today he was expected to play his usual lead-out role for Pelucchi at the sprint race Clasica de Almeria in Spain but nothing went according to plan. Extremely windy conditions forced the organizers to head back to Almeria and reduce the race to just a six-lap criterium on the 3.5km finishing circuit and after the wind had ripped the race to pieces, it was Howard who stood on the top step of the podium.


The 31st Clasica de Almeria was to be held on a 184km course around the city of Almeria. It was a mainly flat affair along the coast that saw the riders head inlands on a few occasions to tackle a total of four category 3 climbs but the final summit was located 32.1km from the finish from where it was a flat run along the coast before two laps of a 3.5km finishing circuit were scheduled.


It was great sunshine when the riders gathered for the start in Almeria but they were greeted by extremely windy conditions. As a consequence, there was a meeting between the organizers, the commissaires, Philippe Gilbert (BMC), Sylvain Chavanel (Direct Energie), Samuel Sanchez (BMC) and Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) to find out how to proceed.


The decision was taken to do the race as normal and consider neutralization along the way but as riders were objected, the first 15km were neutralized. They headed out for their ride into a strong head- and crosswind and were riding slowly at just 20km/h. Daniel Navarro (Cofidis) abandoned.


The riders continued past the 15km mark but there were no attacks and they only covered 28.9km during the first hour. At the 40km, the riders deemed the windy conditions too dangerous and the decision was made to turn around and head back to Almeria.


After arriving at the finish, the organizers, riders and commissaires made the decision to do 7 laps of the finishing circuit. The first lap would be neutralized while there would be a real race for the final 6 laps and a total distance of just 21 flat kilometres.


At 14.30 local time, the riders finally headed out for their short criterium. There were a number of attacks but a determined Direct Energie team took control at made sure that no one managed to escape.


Meanwhile, one of the outsiders, Carlos Barbero (Caja Rural), left the race and one of the favourites, Juan Jose Lobato (Movistar), was briefly distanced. Alejandro Valverde brought him back though and he was safe in the peloton with four laps to go.


As the riders started the penultimate lap, CCC Sprandi had taken control while there was a big fight for position between the main sprint teams Cofidis, IAM and Direct Energie. That’s when Katusha came to the fore and they managed to rip the race to pieces in the windy conditions.


At the start of the final lap, a big selection had been made and in the end, the trio of Leigh Howard, Aleksejs Saramotins and Alexei Tsatevich escaped. Saramotins sacrificed himself for his teammate and then Howard finished it off by beating Tsatevich in a close sprint, with Saramotins holding on for third. Five seconds later, Bryan Coquard (Direct Energie) beat Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis) and Raymond Kreder (Roompot) in the sprint for fourth.


With this weekend’s pair of one-day races now over, the attention in Spain turns to stage racing and the Ruta del Sol/Vuelta a Andalucia which runs from Wednesday to Sunday.



The Best Danish Cyclist To Bet On At 2022 Tour De France 13.01.2022 @ 15:262022 Upcoming Tournament Overview 03.01.2022 @ 09:45Best Place to Find Stand-Up Paddleboards 16.06.2021 @ 08:16What are Primoz Roglic’s Chances to Win 2021 Tour de Fr... 17.03.2021 @ 08:37Amazing victory by young champion Sarah Gigante 04.02.2021 @ 14:21Three reasons why cycling is one of the best ways to ex... 28.09.2020 @ 12:03Why do businesses use meeting room managers? 14.09.2020 @ 13:42Five things that you can do, if you want to gain more f... 20.08.2020 @ 15:38One for the road 09.06.2020 @ 15:25List of CyclingQuotes previews 07.05.2020 @ 13:20Blue Energy: room for all interests 26.08.2019 @ 12:56Get your daily dose of exercise at home 08.07.2019 @ 10:443 good advice to be able to afford your favorite bike 25.02.2019 @ 12:32Cycle through gorgeous landscapes 22.10.2018 @ 21:41Balance Your Economy and Diet and Start Saving Money 08.10.2018 @ 11:18Stay Safe: 3 Helmets That Can Keep Your Head Protected... 20.07.2018 @ 07:59Planning to bet on Tour De France - Bet types and strat... 24.05.2018 @ 14:18Basics of cycling betting 25.10.2017 @ 13:10Bauer moves to ORICA-SCOTT 28.08.2017 @ 10:45End of the road for CyclingQuotes 08.01.2017 @ 16:00Rui Costa confirms Giro participation 07.01.2017 @ 12:55Van Avermaet: I am not afraid of Sagan 07.01.2017 @ 09:45Unchanged course for E3 Harelbeke 07.01.2017 @ 09:32Jenner takes surprise win at Australian U23 Championships 07.01.2017 @ 08:53No replacement for Meersman at Fortuneo-Vital Concept 06.01.2017 @ 19:14Barguil with two goals in 2017 06.01.2017 @ 19:06More details about French Vuelta start emerges 06.01.2017 @ 14:16Kristoff to start season at Etoile de Besseges 06.01.2017 @ 14:10Ion Izagirre announces schedule for first year at Bahrain 06.01.2017 @ 12:40JLT Condor optimistic for Herald Sun Tour 06.01.2017 @ 09:19Haas leads Dimension Data trio in fight for Australian... 06.01.2017 @ 09:15Sagan spearheads Bora-hansgrohe at Tour Down Under 06.01.2017 @ 09:12Henao and Thomas lead Sky Down Under 06.01.2017 @ 09:09Bauer crowned New Zealand TT champion 06.01.2017 @ 08:33Van der Poel ready to defend Dutch title 05.01.2017 @ 21:00Pantano ambitious for first Tour with Trek 05.01.2017 @ 20:41Landa with new approach to the Giro 05.01.2017 @ 20:36Sunweb Development Team sign Goos and Zepuntke 05.01.2017 @ 20:27Dumoulin confirms Giro participation 05.01.2017 @ 20:19Bauer targets victories in Quick-Step debut 05.01.2017 @ 20:16Gaviria and Boonen lead Quick-Step in San Juan 05.01.2017 @ 20:13Team Sunweb presented in Germany 05.01.2017 @ 20:09ASO take over major German WorldTour race 05.01.2017 @ 11:01Team Sunweb unveil new jersey 05.01.2017 @ 10:54Reactions from the Australian TT Championships 05.01.2017 @ 08:27Dennis defends Australian TT title 05.01.2017 @ 08:21Scotson takes back to back U23 TT titles in Australia 05.01.2017 @ 08:15Utrecht on track to host 2020 Vuelta 04.01.2017 @ 18:28Pre-season setback for Talansky 04.01.2017 @ 17:56Kristoff: It's not impossible for me to win in Rou... 04.01.2017 @ 17:49Boom close to first cyclo-cross win in LottoNL debut 04.01.2017 @ 17:40UAE Abu Dhabi make late signing of Arab rider 04.01.2017 @ 17:36UAE Abu Dhabi unveil new jersey 04.01.2017 @ 17:30BMC unveil race schedule 04.01.2017 @ 17:21Androni sign Costa Rican super talent 04.01.2017 @ 17:13

Currently no news in this list

03.06 - 11.06: Tour du Cameroun
04.06 - 11.06: Critérium du Dauphiné
07.06 - 11.06: Aziz Shusha
07.06 - 11.06: ZLM Tour
07.06 - 11.06: Vuelta Femenina a Guatemala
08.06 - 11.06: Course de la Paix GP Jeseníky
08.06 - 11.06: LWorld championships Saarland ...
09.06 - 11.06: Tour d'Eure-et-Loir
09.06 - 11.06: Tour Féminin des Pyrénées
10.06 - 11.06: Kırıkkale Road Race
43 years | today
45 years | today
37 years | today
21 years | today
28 years | today