Dec 9th, 13. Crowd favourite German cyclist Jens Voigt will make his 11th appearance at the ... read more
Dec 8th, 13. Reta Trotman and Grayson Napier were impressive winners in the elite women’s and ... read more
Dec 5th, 13. Injured cyclist Eddie Dawkins will take his place in the team sprint combination ... read more
Northey climbs into Yellow
Oct 30th, 12. Tough winds, crashes and Bluff Hill made for a very demanding day in the saddle for the 124 riders that started today's second stage of the Powernet Tour of Southland.
Starting the day today in yellow was always going to be demanding for Bissell Pro Cycling Kiwi rider Paddy Bevin. The tough second stage of this years Tour of Southland had the riders heading out of Invercargill with 6 early sprints and into Winton before they headed back to Invercargill and on to the now famous finish on Bluff Hill.
Conditions before the start of the stage always pointed towards strong head and cross winds, and this was always going to be the case. As predicted the race started at fast pace with early breaks always going to be active, a break of 15 riders was established early with a strong presence from most of the main teams.
The peloton was marred with an early crash after 30km resulting in five riders unable to continue. Peter Murphy (Versatile Homes & Buildings) was taken to hospital after a brave attempt to try and return to the bunch. Leading team Powernet also lost a key rider with Christchurch based Ryan Wills also unable to continue.
The 15 strong escape riders contained Sam Witmitz (Share the Road) who had one goal today, to add more sprint points which he did and now holds a commanding 64 point lead in that category over Matt Cronshaw (Node 4-Subaru)
As the strong winds hampered the lead bunch, riders were faced with 25kms of block head wind before the base of the Bluff nightmare, an early attempt to break free by Australia rider Jason Rigg (Team Polygon) was soon controlled and as they turned onto the final assent it look like the winner would emerge from this break away bunch.
Bissell USA rider Carter Jones attacked the front splintering the leaders bunch and with 1km of the brutal climb to go had a small gap, Node 4- Subaru Auckland based Mike Northey patiently waited and with his experience knew how tough the last 200 metres was going to be.
As the Bissell rider slowed, Northey was able to apply the required pressure and hit the front to take the win by 3 seconds over Carter.
Three under 23 riders fill the next places with Taylor Gunman (Pure Black Racing) having the race of his life to take third over Powernets Cameron Karwowski and Fraser Gough (Share the Road) NZ Olympian track rider Marc Ryan (Calder Stewart) was sixth just ahead of crowd favorite Gordon McCauley (Barry Stewart Builders- Gordon McCauley Coaching).
Northey was also able to secure the leaders Powernet Yellow jersey after finishing the stage over 3 minutes ahead of overnight leader Paddy Bevin.
"Top three on GC was my goal going into the start of the tour" Northey told Roadcycling, "So it looks like a few days on the front for my team" he said.
The Node 4-Subaru team was also able to take hold of the Teams section of the race. Taylor holds a 12 second lead over Karwowski in the U23 jersey and overnight KoM leader Joe Chapman retains that position with a 12 point lead over Node 4- Subaru's James Moss.
PowerNet Tour of Southland - Sun Oct 28th to Sat Nov 3rd
Tweet Follow @roadcycling
Support RoadCycling.co.nz Advertisers