Canadian James Piccoli has become just the fourth foreign rider to win the SBS Bank Tour of Southland.  One of New Zealand’s most prestigious stage races has attracted many fine overseas riders in its 61 year history, but it’s proven a tough event to crack with its tough conditions and a general reluctance by the Kiwis to allow the trophy to head offshore.

Few could argue that Piccoli did not deserve the victory, however, after a stage win on Bluff Hill and a strong ride to bridge a one minute gap on the way to Gore on Friday, along with some great team support by his Kia Motors-Ascot Park Hotel cohort.

Piccoli’s results this year include top 10 finishes at the Tour of Alberta and the Tour of Utah, but victory in Southland ranks right up there, he said.  “It’s a pretty cool win. I’ve got to say that the Tour of Southland has been an amazing experience, from the team and the atmosphere, the fans on the road and the coverage has been amazing,” Piccoli said.  “I heard that the Tour of Southland was a super unpredictable race and it could be won or lost at any moment, and that’s what makes it exciting. It came down to the wire today.”

Piccoli started the final 77km stage from Winton to Invercargill with a 35sec lead over Michael Vink (Mike Greer Homes), with Michael Torckler (Blindz Direct) still a faint hope at 1min 10sec.  Vink had pulled back 3sec on Piccoli when he won the 13km individual time trial stage in Winton during the morning to set up a nervous final beat to the Gala St finish.

“I have to admit that everyone threw everything they had at me,” Piccoli said.  “It felt like the whole peloton was trying to crack me but I had the support of all of Kia Motors-Ascot Park Hotel.”

James Piccoli is flanked by runner-up Michael Vink and third placed Michael Torckler, photo Studio Jubb

Teammate Taylor Gunman, who won the second stage from Riverton to Te Anau, proved a brilliant road captain for Kia Motors-Ascot Park Hotel, who also claimed the team classification.  “This is a guy who won a stage and is capable of winning the whole tour, so to have him riding just for me is super humbling and it’s super nice to take home the win for him especially,” Piccoli, who also took out the King of the Mountains classification, said.

The final stage came down to a photo finish, with Germany’s Raphael Freienstein (Aardvark Excavators Ltd) just edging out Brad Evans (PowerNet) on the line and Alex Ray (Wheelworks Handcrafted Wheels) finishing third.  Piccoli finished in the trailing bunch to win by 35sec overall from Vink, with Michael Torckler third at 1min 10sec.

Alex West (Team Skoda Racing) was the leading under 23 rider, finishing sixth overall, while Paul Odlin, who was third in the morning time trial, was the fastest over 35 rider, finishing 11th.  Alex Ray produced an aggressive final stage to take over the Sprint Ace classification, while Ben Robertson (TotalPos Solutions) won the Most Combative honours for the final stage.

New Zealand track endurance rider Nick Kergozou won the Grant Toomey Memorial Trophy as the first Southlander across the line in Gala St. He was also the highest placed Southland rider overall, finishing in 18th place overall.

 

Stage results:
Pos. Rider Time

1

Raphael FREIENSTEINAardvark Excavators Ltd 1:36:55 (48.60 km/h)

2

Brad EVANSPowernet ST

3

Alexander RAYWheelworks Handcrafted Wheels ST

4

Logan GRIFFINTank Guy / Bikebox 00:35

5

Paul ODLINPowernet ST

6

Nick KERGOZOUPlacemakers 00:42

7

Joseph SWALECentral Benchmakers – Willbike 00:44

8

Mike CUMINGAardvark Excavators Ltd ST

9

Callum PEARCEMike Greer Homes ST

10

Kane RICHARDSITM ST

11

Jason THOMASONBlindz Direct ST

12

Sam MOBBERLEYITM ST

13

Michael VINKMike Greer Homes ST

14

James PICCOLIKia Motors – Ascot Park Hotel ST

15

Matt ROSSPowernet ST

16

Michael TORCKLERBlindz Direct ST

17

Taylor GUNMANKia Motors – Ascot Park Hotel ST

18

James FOUCHECreation Signs L&M Group Ricoh ST

19

Alex WESTTeam Skoda Racing ST

20

Mathew ZENOVICHMike Greer Homes 00:56

21

Jakob LESTERPlacemakers 01:50

22

Ollie JONESPowernet ST

23

Roman VAN UDENPowernet ST

24

Liam CAPPELAdair Craik Accountants ST

25

Nicholas COSTELLOITM ST

26

Hamish BEADLEBusiness South ST

27

Joel YATESTeam Skoda Racing ST

28

Jordan GILMORECentral Benchmakers – Willbike ST

29

Matias FITZWATERCalder Stewart ST

30

Nick BEGGTalbot Forest Cheese – Ultimo ST

31

Ryan CHRISTENSENKia Motors – Ascot Park Hotel ST

32

Dan CROSSAardvark Excavators Ltd ST

33

Joseph CHAPMANCreation Signs L&M Group Ricoh ST

34

Matthew HIGGINSWheelworks Handcrafted Wheels ST

35

Richard RANDALLGiant Lakeside ST

36

Cyrus MONKKia Motors – Ascot Park Hotel ST

37

Daniel RAETotalPOS ST

38

Boris CLARKCalder Stewart ST

39

Matt CRYERWheelworks Handcrafted Wheels ST

40

Conner SALLEEGiant Lakeside ST

41

Ben BARRYCreation Signs L&M Group Ricoh ST

42

Blake TAIT-JONESBusiness South ST

43

Josh KUYSTENBlindz Direct ST

44

Bradley LEITCHTeam Skoda Racing ST

45

Alex QUIRKAdair Craik Accountants ST

46

Kane MCCOLLUMWheelworks Handcrafted Wheels ST

47

Carne GROUBECentral Benchmakers – Willbike ST

48

Hefin PRICETotalPOS ST

49

Paul WRIGHTCentral Benchmakers – Willbike ST

50

Rylan DOWDELLBlindz Direct ST

51

Frank SUTTONGiant Lakeside ST

52

Ben ROBERTSONTotalPOS ST

53

Andy HAGANWheelworks Handcrafted Wheels ST

54

Travis KANEBusiness South ST

55

Tim RUSHMike Greer Homes ST

56

Alex HEANEYPowernet ST

57

James WILLIAMSONCreation Signs L&M Group Ricoh ST

58

Campbell PITHIEITM ST

59

Joshua ALDRIDGEBlindz Direct ST

60

David WEAVERWheelworks Handcrafted Wheels ST

61

Dan FURMINGERCalder Stewart ST

62

Grayson KEPPLERGiant Lakeside ST

63

Ben ANDREWSAardvark Excavators Ltd ST

64

Brendan COLEITM ST

65

Andrew KINGTotalPOS ST

66

Steve NICHOLLSTank Guy / Bikebox ST

67

Luke MACPHERSONPlacemakers ST

68

Jake MARRYATTCalder Stewart ST

69

Max JONESTeam Skoda Racing ST

70

Josh HAGGERTYPlacemakers ST

71

Jared GRAYPlacemakers ST

72

Ethan BATTMike Greer Homes ST

73

Kevin GIRKINSKia Motors – Ascot Park Hotel 02:09

74

Joshua SCOTTCreation Signs L&M Group Ricoh ST

75

Morgan SMITHAardvark Excavators Ltd ST

76

Owen OWENSCalder Stewart ST

77

Rob SCARLETTAardvark Excavators Ltd 03:48

78

Reon NOLANITM ST

79

Kris RUSHAdair Craik Accountants ST

80

Samuel MILLERPlacemakers ST

81

Martin RYDERTalbot Forest Cheese – Ultimo ST

82

Chris LATTATalbot Forest Cheese – Ultimo 03:50

83

Guy CARTERCentral Benchmakers – Willbike ST

84

Greg TAYLORTalbot Forest Cheese – Ultimo ST

85

Louis CROSBYBlindz Direct ST

86

Gavin MASONBusiness South ST

87

William MILBURNBusiness South ST

88

John WANSINKAdair Craik Accountants ST

89

Florian BARKETTeam Skoda Racing ST

90

Glen REWIMike Greer Homes ST

91

Calvin STANDRILLTalbot Forest Cheese – Ultimo 04:00

92

Timothy CHAPMANCreation Signs L&M Group Ricoh 05:50

93

Joe HUTCHINSONTotalPOS ST

94

William FINDLAYTalbot Forest Cheese – Ultimo 11:16

95

Alex BEEDIECalder Stewart ST

96

Eric MARCOTTEKia Motors – Ascot Park Hotel DNF

 

General classification:
Pos. Rider Time

1

James PICCOLIKia Motors – Ascot Park Hotel 20:15:15

2

Michael VINKMike Greer Homes 00:35

3

Michael TORCKLERBlindz Direct 01:10

4

Raphael FREIENSTEINAardvark Excavators Ltd 02:10

5

Brad EVANSPowernet 03:21

6

Alex WESTTeam Skoda Racing 04:10

7

Taylor GUNMANKia Motors – Ascot Park Hotel 04:35

8

James FOUCHECreation Signs L&M Group Ricoh 04:42

9

Sam MOBBERLEYITM 05:25

10

Ryan CHRISTENSENKia Motors – Ascot Park Hotel 06:30

11

Paul ODLINPowernet 06:59

12

Jake MARRYATTCalder Stewart 07:09

13

Kane RICHARDSITM 07:37

14

Mike CUMINGAardvark Excavators Ltd 08:16

15

Boris CLARKCalder Stewart 08:36

16

Andy HAGANWheelworks Handcrafted Wheels 09:27

17

Ben ANDREWSAardvark Excavators Ltd 09:39

18

Nick KERGOZOUPlacemakers 09:53

19

Tim RUSHMike Greer Homes 10:14

20

Richard RANDALLGiant Lakeside 10:29

21

Carne GROUBECentral Benchmakers – Willbike 10:54

22

Matt ROSSPowernet 11:33

23

Campbell PITHIEITM 11:55

24

Cyrus MONKKia Motors – Ascot Park Hotel 12:35

25

Roman VAN UDENPowernet 12:43

26

Alex QUIRKAdair Craik Accountants 13:02

27

Joseph SWALECentral Benchmakers – Willbike 14:11

28

Conner SALLEEGiant Lakeside 15:03

29

Morgan SMITHAardvark Excavators Ltd 15:28

30

Ollie JONESPowernet 15:58

31

Blake TAIT-JONESBusiness South 16:03

32

Mathew ZENOVICHMike Greer Homes 16:55

33

Florian BARKETTeam Skoda Racing 18:09

34

Andrew KINGTotalPOS 18:17

35

Rylan DOWDELLBlindz Direct 18:25

36

Matthew HIGGINSWheelworks Handcrafted Wheels 18:33

37

Nick BEGGTalbot Forest Cheese – Ultimo 18:51

38

Greg TAYLORTalbot Forest Cheese – Ultimo 19:07

39

Callum PEARCEMike Greer Homes 19:35

40

John WANSINKAdair Craik Accountants 19:44

41

Frank SUTTONGiant Lakeside 19:55

42

Steve NICHOLLSTank Guy / Bikebox 20:33

43

Dan FURMINGERCalder Stewart 20:34

44

Luke MACPHERSONPlacemakers 20:37

45

Matt CRYERWheelworks Handcrafted Wheels 21:07

46

Josh KUYSTENBlindz Direct 21:59

47

Calvin STANDRILLTalbot Forest Cheese – Ultimo 22:13

48

Ben BARRYCreation Signs L&M Group Ricoh 22:36

49

Alexander RAYWheelworks Handcrafted Wheels 23:03

50

Joel YATESTeam Skoda Racing 23:36

51

Josh HAGGERTYPlacemakers 23:42

52

Bradley LEITCHTeam Skoda Racing 24:22

53

Grayson KEPPLERGiant Lakeside 24:27

54

Alex HEANEYPowernet 25:26

55

Brendan COLEITM 25:32

56

Kane MCCOLLUMWheelworks Handcrafted Wheels 26:12

57

Jakob LESTERPlacemakers 26:24

58

Ethan BATTMike Greer Homes 26:28

59

Kevin GIRKINSKia Motors – Ascot Park Hotel 26:41

60

Joshua SCOTTCreation Signs L&M Group Ricoh 27:05

61

Matias FITZWATERCalder Stewart 27:18

62

Logan GRIFFINTank Guy / Bikebox 27:34

63

Paul WRIGHTCentral Benchmakers – Willbike 28:21

64

Ben ROBERTSONTotalPOS 28:43

65

Kris RUSHAdair Craik Accountants 29:31

66

Max JONESTeam Skoda Racing 30:02

67

Hefin PRICETotalPOS 30:13

68

Liam CAPPELAdair Craik Accountants 32:24

69

Jordan GILMORECentral Benchmakers – Willbike 36:09

70

James WILLIAMSONCreation Signs L&M Group Ricoh 37:47

71

Nicholas COSTELLOITM 39:32

72

Gavin MASONBusiness South 39:47

73

Dan CROSSAardvark Excavators Ltd 40:09

74

Jared GRAYPlacemakers 40:11

75

Jason THOMASONBlindz Direct 40:29

76

Hamish BEADLEBusiness South 40:42

77

Owen OWENSCalder Stewart 44:10

78

Rob SCARLETTAardvark Excavators Ltd 44:56

79

Joseph CHAPMANCreation Signs L&M Group Ricoh 45:24

80

David WEAVERWheelworks Handcrafted Wheels 46:52

81

Travis KANEBusiness South 47:40

82

Chris LATTATalbot Forest Cheese – Ultimo 48:27

83

Alex BEEDIECalder Stewart 50:27

84

Joe HUTCHINSONTotalPOS 50:58

85

Joshua ALDRIDGEBlindz Direct 52:04

86

Louis CROSBYBlindz Direct 52:08

87

Samuel MILLERPlacemakers 52:56

88

Daniel RAETotalPOS 55:18

89

William MILBURNBusiness South 1:06:12

90

Glen REWIMike Greer Homes 1:06:34

91

Reon NOLANITM 1:14:59

92

Martin RYDERTalbot Forest Cheese – Ultimo 1:15:01

93

Guy CARTERCentral Benchmakers – Willbike 1:16:09

94

Timothy CHAPMANCreation Signs L&M Group Ricoh 1:17:12

95

William FINDLAYTalbot Forest Cheese – Ultimo 1:26:10

96

Eric MARCOTTEKia Motors – Ascot Park Hotel DNF

 

U23 classification:
Pos. Rider Time

1

Alex WESTTeam Skoda Racing 20:19:25

2

James FOUCHECreation Signs L&M Group Ricoh 04:42

3

Sam MOBBERLEYITM 05:25

4

Ryan CHRISTENSENKia Motors – Ascot Park Hotel 06:30

5

Jake MARRYATTCalder Stewart 07:09

6

Kane RICHARDSITM 07:37

7

Ben ANDREWSAardvark Excavators Ltd 09:39

8

Nick KERGOZOUPlacemakers 09:53

9

Carne GROUBECentral Benchmakers – Willbike 10:54

10

Matt ROSSPowernet 11:33

11

Campbell PITHIEITM 11:55

12

Cyrus MONKKia Motors – Ascot Park Hotel 12:35

13

Joseph SWALECentral Benchmakers – Willbike 14:11

14

Ollie JONESPowernet 15:58

15

Florian BARKETTeam Skoda Racing 18:09

16

Callum PEARCEMike Greer Homes 19:35

17

John WANSINKAdair Craik Accountants 19:44

18

Joel YATESTeam Skoda Racing 23:36

19

Bradley LEITCHTeam Skoda Racing 24:22

20

Brendan COLEITM 25:32

21

Jakob LESTERPlacemakers 26:24

22

Ethan BATTMike Greer Homes 26:28

23

Joshua SCOTTCreation Signs L&M Group Ricoh 27:05

24

Matias FITZWATERCalder Stewart 27:18

25

Paul WRIGHTCentral Benchmakers – Willbike 28:21

26

Max JONESTeam Skoda Racing 30:02

27

Liam CAPPELAdair Craik Accountants 32:24

28

Nicholas COSTELLOITM 39:32

29

Jared GRAYPlacemakers 40:11

30

Hamish BEADLEBusiness South 40:42

31

Joe HUTCHINSONTotalPOS 50:58

32

Samuel MILLERPlacemakers 52:56

33

Daniel RAETotalPOS 55:18

34

William MILBURNBusiness South 1:06:12

 

Team classification:
Pos. Rider Time

1

Kia Motors – Ascot Park Hotel 60:57:00

2

Aardvark Excavators Ltd 04:11

3

Powernet 05:04

4

Mike Greer Homes 12:33

5

ITM 13:41

6

Team Skoda Racing 14:47

7

Calder Stewart 21:14

8

Wheelworks Handcrafted Wheels 28:40

9

Blindz Direct 28:53

10

Giant Lakeside 33:52

11

Creation Signs L&M Group Ricoh 36:25

12

Placemakers 37:16

13

Central Benchmakers – Willbike 42:11

14

Adair Craik Accountants 44:47

15

Talbot Forest Cheese – Ultimo 48:23

16

TotalPOS 54:49

17

Business South 1:08:26

 

Sprint Ace classification:
Pos. Rider Time

1

Alexander RayWheelworks Handcrafted Wheels 43 pts

2

James WilliamsonCreation Signs L&M Group Ricoh 33

3

Morgan SmithAardvark Excavators Ltd 23

4

Raphael FreiensteinAardvark Excavators Ltd 21

5

Paul WrightCentral Benchmakers – Willbike 19

6

Michael VinkMike Greer Homes 17

7

James FoucheCreation Signs L&M Group Ricoh 16

8

Mathew ZenovichMike Greer Homes 15

9

Mike CumingAardvark Excavators Ltd 12

10

Matt RossPowernet 12

11

Josh KuystenBlindz Direct 11

12

Ethan BattMike Greer Homes 11

13

Logan GriffinTank Guy / Bikebox 11

14

Brad EvansPowernet 9

15

Andy HaganWheelworks Handcrafted Wheels 9

16

Joshua ScottCreation Signs L&M Group Ricoh 9

17

Paul OdlinPowernet 9

18

James PiccoliKia Motors – Ascot Park Hotel 7

19

Cyrus MonkKia Motors – Ascot Park Hotel 7

20

Reon NolanITM 7

21

Roman Van UdenPowernet 6

22

Grayson KepplerGiant Lakeside 6

23

Matias FitzwaterCalder Stewart 5

24

Liam CappelAdair Craik Accountants 5

25

Nick KergozouPlacemakers 4

26

Kris RushAdair Craik Accountants 4

27

Alex WestTeam Skoda Racing 3

28

Alex HeaneyPowernet 3

29

Hefin PriceTotalPOS 3

30

William MilburnBusiness South 3

31

Ryan ChristensenKia Motors – Ascot Park Hotel 3

32

Nicholas CostelloITM 3

33

Ollie JonesPowernet 2

34

Florian BarketTeam Skoda Racing 2

35

Matt CryerWheelworks Handcrafted Wheels 2

36

Joel YatesTeam Skoda Racing 2

37

Brendan ColeITM 2

38

Kevin GirkinsKia Motors – Ascot Park Hotel 2

39

Timothy ChapmanCreation Signs L&M Group Ricoh 2

40

Matthew HigginsWheelworks Handcrafted Wheels 1

41

John WansinkAdair Craik Accountants 1

42

Ben BarryCreation Signs L&M Group Ricoh 1

43

David WeaverWheelworks Handcrafted Wheels 1

 

Mountains classification:
Pos. Rider Time

1

James PiccoliKia Motors – Ascot Park Hotel 29 pts

2

Logan GriffinTank Guy / Bikebox 28

3

Ben BarryCreation Signs L&M Group Ricoh 26

4

Michael TorcklerBlindz Direct 16

5

Michael VinkMike Greer Homes 13

6

Andy HaganWheelworks Handcrafted Wheels 10

7

Brendan ColeITM 8

8

Joshua ScottCreation Signs L&M Group Ricoh 8

9

Florian BarketTeam Skoda Racing 8

10

Alexander RayWheelworks Handcrafted Wheels 8

11

James FoucheCreation Signs L&M Group Ricoh 7

12

Mathew ZenovichMike Greer Homes 6

13

Ben RobertsonTotalPOS 6

14

Raphael FreiensteinAardvark Excavators Ltd 4

15

Mike CumingAardvark Excavators Ltd 4

16

Matt RossPowernet 4

17

Kris RushAdair Craik Accountants 4

18

Sam MobberleyITM 3

19

Brad EvansPowernet 2

20

Morgan SmithAardvark Excavators Ltd 2

21

Joel YatesTeam Skoda Racing 2

22

Ethan BattMike Greer Homes 2

23

Luke MacPhersonPlacemakers 1

24

Paul WrightCentral Benchmakers – Willbike 1

 

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