Luke Rowe wins Herald Sun Tour stage two, Chris Froome drops to sixth overall

Luke Rowe
Luke Rowe celebrates his victory in Melbourne

Britain's Luke Rowe claimed his first solo win in more than four years to win stage two of the Herald Sun Tour.

The Welshman raced clear in the 165.6km stage from Mount Beauty to Beechworth in Australia to win by 33 seconds.

Defending champion Chris Froome, a Team Sky team-mate of Rowe, dropped a place to sixth overall, one minute 12 seconds behind overall leader Damien Howson.

"When we hit that final climb the legs felt good, I attacked and rode home solo," Rowe told BBC Radio Wales Sport.

"I probably race my bike 90 days a year, and 80 of those I'm working for the guys and committing 100% to them.

"So when you get a free role like today and a chance to go in the breakaway you have to takes chances like that in both hands."

Rowe is using the five-day race as part of his preparation for the Spring Classics - a series of gruelling one-day races across Europe. He finished fifth in last year's Tour of Flanders and eighth in the 2015 Paris-Roubaix cobbled classic.

"This year I knuckled down over the Christmas period, got some good work done and started training fairly early," he said.

"I couldn't be happier with where the form is at the moment. This whole block is just a stepping stone towards being in the best shape possible for the Spring Classics on the cobbles, so it's great to notch up a win on the way. Bring on the cobbles."

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