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Patrick Bevin eyes Southland after 10th season win
Sep 16th, 12. With ten wins this year, it is easy to forget Patrick Bevin had eight weeks back in New Zealand sorting out an injury during the middle of his US season.
Today the Bissell Pro Cycling Kiwi won the UCI 1.2 Thomson Bucks County Classic in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. Another Kiwi Logan Hutchings joined him on the podium in 2nd place and Hutching's Elbowz Racing Kiwi teammate Heath Blackgrove placed 5th.
The win was Bevin's fourth win since heading back to the USA in early July after spending eight weeks in New Zealand dealing with an injury.
The injury, which forced the 21 year old out of the Tour of California amongst other races, was eventually diagnosed as sciatica caused by piriformis syndrome. A muscle in his glute was restricting one of the nerves in his legs.
In today's race, Bevin was part of a 25 rider group which broke free on the first of six 22.2km hilly laps. A group of seven riders, which eventually dropped to four, split off the front with 1.5 laps to go but in the final 10km, Bevin and Hutchings rode across to the front group where Bevin had the benefit of a teammate to help him out.
"Chris Baldwin, who was in the last four, buried himself for the last 8km to keep the six of us together," Bevin told RoadCycling.co.nz. "I had to do a bit of covering in the last kilometre but I kept it tidy enough to take the win."
Bevin also spoke of the support he received from fellow Kiwi Bissell Pro Cycling rider Jeremy Vennell who helped out at the business end of the race too.
This UCI win against a strong field solidifies Bevin's comeback.
"After a season of two very distinct parts, it is nice to be back without a doubt," Bevin shared. "This was a UCI 1.2 race on a brutal circuit with 2500m of climbing, it was a very, very hard day out and to me that is really the 'monkey off my back' for the injury."
"It's been a bit of a road but the decision to return home to do my recovery was probably the best one I made. I had great people around me at home and they made a huge difference. It meant it was seven days a week making progress and I owe a lot to everyone who took time to help me out (that list is seriously long)."
Bevin is confident he has has fully recovered from the injury and as long as he looks after himself, he does not believe he will have any ongoing issues.
"Mentally it was actually probably tougher - to go from such good results to on the couch injured so quickly stings, but to weather the storm shows some perseverance and you learn so much each time you have to deal with setbacks like that."
Next up - Southland
With ten wins this year, including four NRC wins and today's UCI victory, Bevin said he can't be too dissatisfied with the season - although the racing is not over yet!
He confirmed to RoadCycling.co.nz he is heading to the PowerNet Tour of Southland with his Bissell Pro Cycling team entering this year (Oct 28 - Nov 3).
The last time Bissell rode the tour was in 2009, the year Bevin won the Sprint Ace competition riding for Ascot Park Hotel.
It was then that the young Kiwi came to the attention of the US based team.
"Southland is the next big target and having had some downtime midseason, if nothing else motivation is still sky high," Bevin threatened.
In the PowerNet Tour of Southland last year, Bevin, racing for Ascot Park Hotel, surprised many with his climbing ability.
He placed 3rd up Bluff Hill and was second up the Crown Range.
To prove he had not lost his sprinting prowess, he capped the tour off with the final stage victory and finished the week long tour 2nd overall.
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