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Avery powers to victory
Oct 31st, 12. Clinton Avery (Ascot Park Hotel- Kia Motors) timed his finish to perfection in this afternoons 100km stage from Tuatapere to Te Anau, after a small break threatened to stay away.
After a second place in this mornings earlier 48km stage, Avery was primed and ready and hoping for a bunch finish in Te Anau.
The field tackled the tough Blackmount Hill 51kms into the stage and after a few attempts four riders managed to slip the field, this included current New Zealand National Champion James Williamson (Pure Black Racing).
At the foot of the climb these riders had a gap of 2 minutes on the main peloton, which included Yellow jersey rider Mike Northey (Node 4-Subaru) and all the main GC contenders including Gordon McCauly (Barry Stewart Builders- Gordon McCauly Coaching) Hayden Roulston (Calder Stewart) Heath Blackgrove (PowerNet) Taylor Gunman (Pure Black Racing) and Carter Jones from Bissell Pro Cycling.
Williamson with the help of Sam Lindsay (Share the Road) and Tom Hubbard (Henderson Construction Ltd) were able to maintain their gap over the KoM at the top of the climb and descended still holding their 2 minute lead.
At the 20km to go mark and with the peloton not wanting the escape to last, the time was reduced to 1.45.
Gordon McCauly's team was driving the main bunch to make sure he remained in contention.
Williamson attacked his fellow break away riders and with less than 10kms to go, he still maintained a one minute gap.
As he entered Te Anau it looked as if he would hold on to the lead, but Bissell Pro Cycling with the morning stage winner Paddy Bevin wanting a daily double had other ideas, they took over the pace making and caught Williamson in the last Km.
As the peloton swung into the final home straight and with plenty of 'argy bargy' the team of Clinton Avery was able to deliver him to the line to take the stage ahead of the fast finishing Green jersey wearer Sam Witmitz (Share the Road).
Daniel Barry (Node 4- Subaru) held on for third ahead of Tom Sully (PowerNet) and pocket rocket Alex Ray (Stewart Imrie Financial Services).
"Super happy" was how Avery said he felt after the win, "I had a late call up to the Tour of Beijing and racing that really lifted my form for this race" Avery told Roadcycling.
Mike Northey retained his leaders PowerNet Tour jersey with a slender 8 second buffer over Carter Jones going into tomorrows longest stage of the event the 'Crown Ranges'.
Taylor Gunman (Pure Black Racing) also retains his U23 jersey and Joe Chapman (Creation Signs- L&M Group Racing) has a 16 point lead in the KoM.
This year Sam Wizmitz (Share the Road) has shown plenty of character to the crowd and has attracted may fans with his on stage antics, he holds a commanding 65 point lead in the Green Jersey section.
Node 4- Subaru lead the team's section.
PowerNet Tour of Southland - Sun Oct 28th to Sat Nov 3rd
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