Clasica de Almeria cut short, Howard wins

Leigh Howard wins Spanish race after strong winds force organizers to shorten race to 21 kilometers.

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Australian Leigh Howard’s first win of 2016 was overshadowed by powerful winds that compelled organizers to shorten the the Clasica de Almeria on Sunday. With 100kph wind gusts forecasted, the Spanish race was shortened from 184 kilometers to merely 21km — five laps of a 3.5km city circuit.

Howard, newly signed to IAM Cycling, beat Katusha’s Alexey Tsatevich in a bunch sprint. Howard’s teammate, Aleksejs Saramotins, rounded out the podium in third.

The morning of the race, American Brent Bookwalter expressed concerns about rider safety on Twitter.