Redemption for Piccoli with Bluff Hill stage win

Defending Tour of Southland champion James Piccoli proved just what a tough bike rider he is with victory on Bluff Hill today.

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James Piccoli returned to the winner's podium on Bluff Hill, photo James Jubb/Studio Jubb

Defending Tour of Southland champion James Piccoli proved just what a tough bike rider he is with victory on Bluff Hill today.

The Canadian’s chances of going back-to-back in the SBS Bank-sponsored race fell flat, quite literally, at the bottom of Coronet Peak in a spectacular crash on Wednesday, but he fought back in outstanding fashion today to win an arduous stage from Invercargill to Bluff for the second year in a row.

Those who saw Piccoli crash might have been surprised he even made it to the start line, let alone win on Bluff Hill, arguably the most iconic stage in New Zealand’s most prestigious stage race.

“I was pretty sore. It definitely took me an extra couple of coffees to get going. This is my job and I’m used to crashing. I have a routine for looking after myself and tending to my wounds,” he said.

“(Wednesday) was a bit of a personal disappointment. The team rode for me all day and sacrificed themselves for me, it was just a technical mistake coming into the last corner with a little bit of gravel on the road.

“Today was a little bit of redemption for that and we went one-two with myself and Hamish (Bond) getting a little bit back on GC. We are still in the fight, we are still racing our bikes and we’ll see what happens in the next couple of days.”

It was fast and furious from the outset today, with a break soon developing that was made up of most of the various jersey contenders.

Through Woodlands, Edendale and Wyndham the race was buffeted by crosswinds, before making the daunting turn back towards Invercargill into a 40kmh westerly, with the shadow of Motupohue lurking in the distance.

It was Bond who struck out for a stage win first before Piccoli finished the job for Kia Motors-Ascot Park Hotel, although they were only able to nibble at tour leader Michael Vink’s lead.

“We started in atrocious rain and then crosswinds all day. Luckily we had three in the group and the numbers were a huge advantage heading into the climb and we finished it off,” Piccoli said.

“The race isn’t done, like we saw today, if you get caught on the wrong side of a break you can lose minutes. We still have a strong team and we will look to animate the race and we definitely aren’t going to give up.”

Vink who finished runner-up in both 2016 and 2017, leads Bond by 1min 32sec and Sam Gaze by 3min 17sec, with Piccoli just outside the top three ahead of a 151km stage from Invercargill to Gore which has produced fireworks in the past.

“We don’t need to gain any time, we just don’t want to lose any time,” Vink said.

“It’s a classic stage for an ambush and it’s where I lost the jersey two years ago so I’ll certainly be trying to avoid that. Because it’s late in the race, everyone has got tired legs. It looks relatively benign, but it’s a long stage and it can be wet and quite windy. There’s no defining factor, but there’s a lot of things that add up.”

Ethan Batt leads both the King of the Mountain and under 23 classifications, with Southland’s Matt Zenovich holding onto the Sprint Ace jersey and Paul Odlin winning back the silver jersey for over 35 riders.

Ryan Christensen celebrates with teammate James Piccoli, photo James Jubb/Studio Jubb

 

Stage results:

1 James PICCOLIKia Motors-Ascot Park Hotel 3:47:25 (39.18 km/h)
2 Hamish BONDKia Motors-Ascot Park Hotel 00:05
3 Michael VINKWPC South-Joyride Apparel ST
4 Marcus CULEYPlacemakers 01:00
5 Ethan BATTWPC South-Joyride Apparel 01:30
6 Ryan CHRISTIANSENKia Motors-Ascot Park Hotel 01:35
7 James FOUCHECreation Signs-Ronald McDonald House-Ricoh 01:49
8 Sam GAZEPowernet 01:58
9 Paul ODLINPowernet 02:40
10 Matt ZENOVICHPlacemakers 02:49
11 Jesse FEATONBYAardvark Excavators Ltd 06:43
12 Corbin STRONGTeam Skoda Fruzio 06:55
13 Ben OLIVEROlphert Contracting 07:07
14 Jordan SCHMIDTVelofit-Santic Racing 07:10
15 Blake SUNDEAdair Craik Accountants 07:13
16 Connor BROWNPowernet 07:24
17 Glenn HADENVet4Farm 07:28
18 Scott THOMASTotalPOS Solutions 07:41
19 Kane RICHARDSITM 07:47
20 Alex HEANEYPowernet 07:55
21 Nick WHITEAardvark Excavators Ltd 08:02
22 Paul WRIGHTCentral Benchmakers-Willbike 08:05
23 Steve NICHOLLSFinance Now 08:07
24 Burnie MCGRATHAdair Craik Accountants 08:13
25 Joel YATESTeam Skoda Fruzio 08:20
26 Sam MOBBERLEYTeam Skoda Fruzio 08:24
27 Julian THOMSONOlphert Contracting 08:30
28 Jasper ALBRECHTVelofit-Santic Racing 08:39
29 Darcy PIROTTAVelofit-Santic Racing 08:52
30 Campbell PITHIEITM 08:55
31 Oliver MARTINWPC South-Joyride Apparel 09:00
32 Mark O’BRIENKia Motors-Ascot Park Hotel ST
33 Joel WALSHOlphert Contracting 09:19
34 John WANSINKITM 09:28
35 Kevin GIRKINSKia Motors-Ascot Park Hotel 09:36
36 Ben ANDREWSAardvark Excavators Ltd 09:51
37 Mathew UPTONVelofit-Santic Racing ST
38 Cyrus MONKKia Motors-Ascot Park Hotel 09:57
39 Tom SEXTONBusiness South 10:02
40 Jensen PLOWRIGHTAardvark Excavators Ltd 10:09
41 Corey GREENBERGMagnesium Pur 10:10
42 Brett GRIEVETalbot Forest Cheese-Ultimo 10:23
43 Brad EVANSWPC South-Joyride Apparel 10:30
44 Sascha BONDARENKO-EDWARDSTeam Skoda Fruzio ST
45 Rinze SCHUURMANSTalbot Forest Cheese-Ultimo 10:41
46 Andrew KINGWPC South-Joyride Apparel 10:44
47 Ollie JONESPowernet 11:23
48 Tristan MARGUETVet4Farm 11:30
49 Dylan KENNETTPlacemakers 11:44
50 Morgan SMITHAardvark Excavators Ltd 12:14
51 Roman VAN UDENCreation Signs-Ronald McDonald House-Ricoh ST
52 Joshua HAGGERTYPlacemakers 16:22
53 Kees DUYVESTEYNCreation Signs-Ronald McDonald House-Ricoh 30:15
54 Todd SATCHELLMagnesium Pur 30:23
55 Jake MARRYATTFinance Now 30:25
56 Antony NALDERAdair Craik Accountants 30:44
57 Jordan GILMORECentral Benchmakers-Willbike 30:48
58 Carne GROUBETotalPOS Solutions 31:01
59 Reuben SOARESFinance Now 31:11
60 Josh KUYSTENPowernet 31:54
61 Thomas HUBBARDPlacemakers 31:58
62 Dan CROSSAardvark Excavators Ltd ST
63 Felix DONNELLYBusiness South ST
64 Alex VOGELVet4Farm ST
65 Max JONESTeam Skoda Fruzio 32:07
66 Luke MCDERMOTTCreation Signs-Ronald McDonald House-Ricoh 32:10
67 Nicholas ROSSTotalPOS Solutions 32:12
68 Michael VOGELMagnesium Pur 32:35
69 Jacob LANGHAMVelofit-Santic Racing 32:38
70 William GREENBusiness South 32:39
71 Tilman STEGERMagnesium Pur 32:50
72 Travis KANEBusiness South ST
73 Hamish KEASTPlacemakers 32:53
74 Josh PAGEBusiness South 33:03
75 Guy CARTERCreation Signs-Ronald McDonald House-Ricoh 33:18
76 Nicholas COSTELLOITM 33:21
77 Maxmillian PRIEWICHMagnesium Pur 34:04
78 Justus ERLERAdair Craik Accountants 35:30
79 Liam CAPPELVet4Farm 35:46
80 Blake TAIT-JONESCentral Benchmakers-Willbike 46:00
81 Ioan FULLERTotalPOS Solutions 46:36
82 Lionel MAWDITTTeam Skoda Fruzio 46:52
83 Brandon CONWAYOlphert Contracting 47:48
84 Nathan BELLFinance Now 47:51
85 Luke SHAWTalbot Forest Cheese-Ultimo 48:01
86 William FINDLAYTalbot Forest Cheese-Ultimo 48:09
87 Andreas BATZEKMagnesium Pur 49:04
88 Tim CHAPMANCreation Signs-Ronald McDonald House-Ricoh 49:19
89 Nicholas MAGILLVet4Farm 49:33
90 Calvin STANDRILLTalbot Forest Cheese-Ultimo 50:34
91 Daniel ALCOCKITM 51:16
92 Matias FITZWATERVet4Farm DNF
93 James KRZANICHOlphert Contracting DNF
94 Ben CARMENWPC South-Joyride Apparel DNF
95 Shaun FALZARANOITM DNF
96 Alex WESTTotalPOS Solutions DNF
97 Oliver YOUNGAdair Craik Accountants DNS

 

General classification after stage 4:

1 Michael VINKWPC South-Joyride Apparel 14:47:48
2 Hamish BONDKia Motors-Ascot Park Hotel 01:32
3 Sam GAZEPowernet 03:17
4 James PICCOLIKia Motors-Ascot Park Hotel 03:24
5 Ryan CHRISTIANSENKia Motors-Ascot Park Hotel 05:02
6 Ethan BATTWPC South-Joyride Apparel 05:29
7 Matt ZENOVICHPlacemakers 06:19
8 Paul ODLINPowernet 07:06
9 Corbin STRONGTeam Skoda Fruzio 09:13
10 Jesse FEATONBYAardvark Excavators Ltd 09:14
11 Connor BROWNPowernet 09:20
12 Ben OLIVEROlphert Contracting 09:59
13 Oliver MARTINWPC South-Joyride Apparel 10:19
14 Nick WHITEAardvark Excavators Ltd 10:38
15 Glenn HADENVet4Farm 10:56
16 Marcus CULEYPlacemakers 13:51
17 Kane RICHARDSITM 14:13
18 Campbell PITHIEITM 14:33
19 Jordan SCHMIDTVelofit-Santic Racing 14:35
20 Julian THOMSONOlphert Contracting 14:38
21 James FOUCHECreation Signs-Ronald McDonald House-Ricoh 14:52
22 Alex HEANEYPowernet 15:06
23 Blake SUNDEAdair Craik Accountants 15:18
24 Sascha BONDARENKO-EDWARDSTeam Skoda Fruzio 16:19
25 Tom SEXTONBusiness South 16:20
26 Ben ANDREWSAardvark Excavators Ltd 16:27
27 Joel WALSHOlphert Contracting 17:13
28 Kevin GIRKINSKia Motors-Ascot Park Hotel 19:14
29 Brad EVANSWPC South-Joyride Apparel 19:27
30 Jensen PLOWRIGHTAardvark Excavators Ltd 21:16
31 Steve NICHOLLSFinance Now 22:42
32 Joel YATESTeam Skoda Fruzio 23:27
33 Darcy PIROTTAVelofit-Santic Racing 23:47
34 Sam MOBBERLEYTeam Skoda Fruzio 24:18
35 Scott THOMASTotalPOS Solutions 25:17
36 Dylan KENNETTPlacemakers 25:40
37 Morgan SMITHAardvark Excavators Ltd ST
38 Mathew UPTONVelofit-Santic Racing 25:58
39 Jasper ALBRECHTVelofit-Santic Racing 26:50
40 Mark O’BRIENKia Motors-Ascot Park Hotel 28:15
41 Rinze SCHUURMANSTalbot Forest Cheese-Ultimo 30:52
42 Cyrus MONKKia Motors-Ascot Park Hotel 32:23
43 Burnie MCGRATHAdair Craik Accountants 33:24
44 John WANSINKITM 33:25
45 Ollie JONESPowernet 33:49
46 Kees DUYVESTEYNCreation Signs-Ronald McDonald House-Ricoh 34:24
47 Brett GRIEVETalbot Forest Cheese-Ultimo 34:27
48 Corey GREENBERGMagnesium Pur 35:33
49 Paul WRIGHTCentral Benchmakers-Willbike 36:13
50 Andrew KINGWPC South-Joyride Apparel 36:48
51 Carne GROUBETotalPOS Solutions 41:04
52 Jake MARRYATTFinance Now 41:43
53 Roman VAN UDENCreation Signs-Ronald McDonald House-Ricoh 44:10
54 Dan CROSSAardvark Excavators Ltd 44:11
55 Josh KUYSTENPowernet 44:48
56 Jordan GILMORECentral Benchmakers-Willbike 46:41
57 Antony NALDERAdair Craik Accountants 47:30
58 Reuben SOARESFinance Now 47:40
59 Todd SATCHELLMagnesium Pur 48:05
60 Tristan MARGUETVet4Farm 49:09
61 Thomas HUBBARDPlacemakers 49:49
62 William GREENBusiness South 50:10
63 Jacob LANGHAMVelofit-Santic Racing 51:51
64 Joshua HAGGERTYPlacemakers 52:20
65 Michael VOGELMagnesium Pur 52:42
66 Felix DONNELLYBusiness South 55:26
67 Max JONESTeam Skoda Fruzio 56:13
68 Justus ERLERAdair Craik Accountants 56:16
69 Liam CAPPELVet4Farm 57:08
70 Hamish KEASTPlacemakers 57:46
71 Lionel MAWDITTTeam Skoda Fruzio 58:21
72 Alex VOGELVet4Farm 59:55
73 Nicholas COSTELLOITM 1:00:33
74 Josh PAGEBusiness South 1:01:30
75 Blake TAIT-JONESCentral Benchmakers-Willbike 1:05:43
76 Daniel ALCOCKITM 1:08:20
77 Nathan BELLFinance Now 1:12:04
78 Luke MCDERMOTTCreation Signs-Ronald McDonald House-Ricoh 1:14:31
79 Calvin STANDRILLTalbot Forest Cheese-Ultimo 1:16:40
80 Nicholas MAGILLVet4Farm 1:17:19
81 Tilman STEGERMagnesium Pur 1:18:48
82 Travis KANEBusiness South 1:22:41
83 Brandon CONWAYOlphert Contracting 1:23:48
84 Maxmillian PRIEWICHMagnesium Pur 1:24:11
85 Nicholas ROSSTotalPOS Solutions 1:28:48
86 Guy CARTERCreation Signs-Ronald McDonald House-Ricoh 1:30:00
87 Ioan FULLERTotalPOS Solutions 1:34:22
88 William FINDLAYTalbot Forest Cheese-Ultimo 1:36:02
89 Andreas BATZEKMagnesium Pur 1:36:28
90 Luke SHAWTalbot Forest Cheese-Ultimo 1:40:00
91 Tim CHAPMANCreation Signs-Ronald McDonald House-Ricoh 1:48:29
92 Matias FITZWATERVet4Farm DNF
93 James KRZANICHOlphert Contracting DNF
94 Ben CARMENWPC South-Joyride Apparel DNF
95 Shaun FALZARANOITM DNF
96 Alex WESTTotalPOS Solutions DNF
97 Oliver YOUNGAdair Craik Accountants DNS

 

Sprint classification after stage 4:

1 Matt ZenovichPlacemakers 59 pts
2 Ollie JonesPowernet 29
3 Alex VogelVet4Farm 22
4 James FoucheCreation Signs-Ronald McDonald House-Ricoh 18
5 Paul OdlinPowernet 15
6 Dylan KennettPlacemakers 13
7 Morgan SmithAardvark Excavators Ltd 11
8 Jensen PlowrightAardvark Excavators Ltd 11
9 Ethan BattWPC South-Joyride Apparel 9
10 Jordan GilmoreCentral Benchmakers-Willbike 8
11 Hamish BondKia Motors-Ascot Park Hotel 6
12 Blake SundeAdair Craik Accountants 6
13 Kevin GirkinsKia Motors-Ascot Park Hotel 5
14 Scott ThomasTotalPOS Solutions 5
15 Paul WrightCentral Benchmakers-Willbike 5
16 Thomas HubbardPlacemakers 4
17 Liam CappelVet4Farm 3
18 Nick WhiteAardvark Excavators Ltd 3
19 Kees DuyvesteynCreation Signs-Ronald McDonald House-Ricoh 3
20 Oliver MartinWPC South-Joyride Apparel 2
21 Roman Van UdenCreation Signs-Ronald McDonald House-Ricoh 2
22 Guy CarterCreation Signs-Ronald McDonald House-Ricoh 2
23 Tim ChapmanCreation Signs-Ronald McDonald House-Ricoh 2
24 Michael VinkWPC South-Joyride Apparel 1
25 Sam GazePowernet 1
26 Ryan ChristiansenKia Motors-Ascot Park Hotel 1
27 Ben OliverOlphert Contracting 1
28 Marcus CuleyPlacemakers 1
29 Sascha Bondarenko-EdwardsTeam Skoda Fruzio 1
30 Brad EvansWPC South-Joyride Apparel 1
31 Mark O’BrienKia Motors-Ascot Park Hotel 1
32 Hamish KeastPlacemakers 1
33 Josh PageBusiness South 1

Mountain classification after stage 4:

1 Ethan BattWPC South-Joyride Apparel 48 pts
2 Matt ZenovichPlacemakers 21
3 Michael VinkWPC South-Joyride Apparel 15
4 Thomas HubbardPlacemakers 15
5 Hamish BondKia Motors-Ascot Park Hotel 14
6 James PiccoliKia Motors-Ascot Park Hotel 12
7 Ioan FullerTotalPOS Solutions 8
8 Sam GazePowernet 8
9 Jensen PlowrightAardvark Excavators Ltd 6
10 Brett GrieveTalbot Forest Cheese-Ultimo 6
11 Ryan ChristiansenKia Motors-Ascot Park Hotel 6
12 Scott ThomasTotalPOS Solutions 6
13 Morgan SmithAardvark Excavators Ltd 6
14 Kevin GirkinsKia Motors-Ascot Park Hotel 5
15 Nick WhiteAardvark Excavators Ltd 4
16 Brad EvansWPC South-Joyride Apparel 4
17 Jake MarryattFinance Now 4
18 Alex VogelVet4Farm 4
19 Sascha Bondarenko-EdwardsTeam Skoda Fruzio 2
20 Max JonesTeam Skoda Fruzio 2

Young rider classification after stage 4:

1 Ethan BATTWPC South-Joyride Apparel 14:53:17
2 Corbin STRONGTeam Skoda Fruzio 09:13
3 Connor BROWNPowernet 09:20
4 Nick WHITEAardvark Excavators Ltd 10:38
5 Campbell PITHIEITM 14:33
6 Jordan SCHMIDTVelofit-Santic Racing 14:35
7 James FOUCHECreation Signs-Ronald McDonald House-Ricoh 14:52
8 Blake SUNDEAdair Craik Accountants 15:18
9 Tom SEXTONBusiness South 16:20
10 Ben ANDREWSAardvark Excavators Ltd 16:27
11 Jensen PLOWRIGHTAardvark Excavators Ltd 21:16
12 Joel YATESTeam Skoda Fruzio 23:27
13 Darcy PIROTTAVelofit-Santic Racing 23:47
14 Jasper ALBRECHTVelofit-Santic Racing 26:50
15 Burnie MCGRATHAdair Craik Accountants 33:24
16 John WANSINKITM 33:25
17 Kees DUYVESTEYNCreation Signs-Ronald McDonald House-Ricoh 34:24
18 Paul WRIGHTCentral Benchmakers-Willbike 36:13
19 Carne GROUBETotalPOS Solutions 41:04
20 Reuben SOARESFinance Now 47:40
21 Felix DONNELLYBusiness South 55:26
22 Max JONESTeam Skoda Fruzio 56:13
23 Liam CAPPELVet4Farm 57:08
24 Hamish KEASTPlacemakers 57:46
25 Alex VOGELVet4Farm 59:55
26 Tilman STEGERMagnesium Pur 1:18:48
27 Brandon CONWAYOlphert Contracting 1:23:48
28 Ioan FULLERTotalPOS Solutions 1:34:22
29 Luke SHAWTalbot Forest Cheese-Ultimo 1:40:00
30 James KRZANICHOlphert Contracting DNF
31 Matias FITZWATERVet4Farm DNF
32 Alex WESTTotalPOS Solutions DNF
33 Shaun FALZARANOITM DNF
34 Oliver YOUNGAdair Craik Accountants DNS

Team classification after stage 4:

1 Kia Motors-Ascot Park Hotel 44:32:55
2 WPC South-Joyride Apparel 06:38
3 Powernet 10:25
4 Team Skoda Fruzio 25:31
5 Aardvark Excavators Ltd 26:31
6 Placemakers 28:34
7 Olphert Contracting 30:20
8 ITM 33:39
9 Velofit-Santic Racing 53:37
10 Vet4Farm 1:10:50
11 Adair Craik Accountants 1:13:22
12 Creation Signs-Ronald McDonald House-Ricoh 1:16:24
13 TotalPOS Solutions 1:32:20
14 Finance Now 1:41:53
15 Business South 1:51:04
16 Talbot Forest Cheese-Ultimo 2:02:35
17 Magnesium Pur 2:03:52
18 Central Benchmakers-Willbike 2:19:07

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