Georgie Howe Breaks Through To Win Mitchelton Tour Of Gippsland

  • By: AusCycling
  • Feb 16, 2022
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Melbourne cyclist Georgie Howe (Knights of Suburbia Racing) has sealed the breakthrough victory of her young career, winning the 2022 Mitchelton Tour of Gippsland overall.

Already a Princeton University graduate, Australian rowing representative and Big Four consultant, the 28-year-old now adds a National Road Series (NRS) general classification and stage win to her burgeoning CV.

Howe made most of her time gains on Stage 2 in a daring 70-kilometre solo breakaway. She safely navigated the final day’s criterium to win the general classification by 24 seconds ahead of Maeve Plouffe (ARA Pro Racing Sunshine Coast) and Amber Pate (InForm TMX Make).

“It’s a surreal experience. I was just telling my team every time I looked around today in the crit, there was one of them there protecting me, protecting yellow, protecting the win for the team,” Howe said.

“Everyone in this team gave it everything.”

Along with Emily Watts’ stage win at the Santos Festival of Cycling, Howe’s victory cements Knights of Suburbia’s status as the revelation of the summer. The team formed little over a year ago to help women access higher levels of road racing while championing mental health causes.

“Credit to the Knights of Suburbia team management, and our DS Taryn Heather, for an incredible tour,” Howe said.

“We just have a phenomenal culture at the team. We’re not in it just for ourselves, we’re in it for everyone involved, and what Knights of Suburbia means as a modus operandi. They really are in it for women’s cycling, we’re really here not just to roll around, but to make an impact and bring awareness to what Knights of Suburbia stands for.”

Maeve Plouffe took out the points classification, Justine Barrow secured the mountains classification and Sophie Edwards (ARA Pro Racing Sunshine Coast) won the white jersey in the young rider’s classification.

With a stage win and second overall, Plouffe became the new leader of the NRS individual competition, while ARA Pro Racing Sunshine Coast wrested the team classification lead from Roxsolt Liv SRAM. Emily Watts retains the NRS under-23 leader’s jersey.

Stage 1: Plouffe Climbs Back On For Reduced Sprint Win

Maeve Plouffe wins stage 1 of the 2022 Mitchelton Tour of GippslandMaeve Plouffe (far right) wins stage 1 of the 2022 Mitchelton Tour of Gippsland. (Photo: Con Chronis)

With her track endurance background, Plouffe was the sprinter to beat in the three-day Mitchelton Tour of Gippsland in southern Victoria.

So it proved on stage one, an 83km road race on three hilly circuits around Woolamai. ARA Pro Racing Sunshine Coast weathered a series of attacks from the likes of Alyssa Polites (Sydney Uni-Staminade) and Justine Barrow (Roxsolt LIV SRAM), which eventually split the race apart on the final climb.

Although Plouffe was dropped at one point, she clawed her way back to unleash a powerful seated sprint ahead of Amber Pate (InForm TMX Make) and Josie Talbot (Sydney Uni-Staminade).

Howe finished in the reduced front group of 13 riders.

Stage 2: ‘Howe Good’ Too Good In Long-Range Breakaway

Georgie Howe goes solo to win stage 2 of the 2022 Mitchelton Tour of GippslandGeorgie Howe went solo from long distance to win Stage 2 of the 2022 Mitchelton Tour of Gippsland. (Photo: Con Chronis)

Peaking over 60km from the finish, the climb of Mount Misery (3km at 6.5%) was not expected to be decisive on stage two of the Mitchelton Tour of Gippsland.

However, Knights of Suburbia Racing saw things differently, knowing they needed to drop Plouffe and the other sprinters.

Emily Watts was the first to attack on the lower slopes, followed by Polites. With the peloton under pressure, Howe surged across the gap and set out on her lonesome.

What followed was an individual ride of terrific proportions, the likes of which have not been seen since Sarah Gigante (who did not start the race due to a COVID-19 positive test) dominated the NRS in 2020.

Pushing a sustained solo effort – reportedly over 280 watts – Howe extended her lead to over two minutes.

A select group of just 15 chasers had survived to climb and worked hard in pursuit. Despite their efforts, Howe completed a spectacular performance to cross the line 42 seconds ahead of the chasers, led home by Amber Pate ahead of Plouffe.

Howe seized the overall lead by 34 seconds over Plouffe – a lead which, barring catastrophe, she would be expected to retain in the final criterium.

Stage 3: Talbot Surfs Team Lead-Out To Win Seaside Sprint

Josie Talbot wins the sprint on Stage 3 of the 2022 Mitchelton Tour of GippslandJosie Talbot wins the final sprint on Stage 3 of the 2022 Mitchelton Tour of Gippsland. (Photo: Con Chronis)

The 2022 Mitchelton Tour of Gippsland closed with a flat, fast criterium in the fishing village of Rhyll on Phillip Island. Riders had to be aware of a stiff breeze blowing across the finish straight, but the race came down to an expected bunch sprint.

Sydney Uni-Staminade took charge of the leadout, with Alyssa Polites, Georgia Whitehouse and Gina Ricardo delivering protected rider Josie Talbot through the final corner in second wheel.

From there, the Wollongong sprinter made no mistake, kicking on the sheltered side of the road to hold off Plouffe and Pate for her first NRS stage win.

Georgia Howe finished safely in fourth to clinch the general classification.

General Classification

1. Georgie HOWE (KOS) 5h33:27
2. Maeve PLOUFFE (ACA) +24
3. Amber PATE (ITM) +33
4. Josie TALBOT (SUS) +41
5. Courtney SHERWELL (RXS) +54
6. Sophie EDWARDS (ACA) +59
7. Justine BARROW (RXS) +1:04
8. Matilda RAYNOLDS (ITM) +1:05
9. Carlee TAYLOR (ITM) +1:09
10. Danielle DE FRANCESCO (ACA) +1:11


Simon Anderson Consultants Green Jersey


1. Maeve PLOUFFE (ACA) 21 pt
2. Amber PATE (ITM) 14
3. Georgie HOWE (KOS) 12


Findex Polka Dot Jersey


1. Justine BARROW (RXS) 16 pt
2. Georgie HOWE (KOS) 12
3. Carlee TAYLOR (ITM) 6


Warragul Crownlea White Jersey


1. Sophie EDWARDS (ACA) 5h34:26
2. Alyssa POLITES (SUS) +16
3. Emily WATTS (KOS) +1:42


Teams Classification


1. InForm TMX Make 16h43:30
2. ARA Pro Racing Sunshine Coast +2
3. Sydney Uni – Staminade Women’s Cycling Team +1:22
4. Roxsolt LIV SRAM +4:17
5. Knights of Suburbia Racing +9:39
6. Cycling Development Foundation +27:25
7. Giant Racing Team +50:32


Photos by Con Chronis

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