Roman van Uden kept his cool under constant fire from Josh Kuysten, and has won the 2018 edition of the BDO Tour of Northland. Van Uden ended the Tour with just the one solitary second advantage over Kuysten, with Bryn Thorne-George completing the podium 11 seconds back on GC.
This year’s BDO Tour of Northland was one of the closest in recent times, with time gaps of barely a hair’s breadth separating the top end of the results pages. Van Uden led after the first two days of racing but up ahead were two trying days first from Opononi to Dargaville and then from Dargaville to Whangarei which concluded with a tough uphill finish.
Stage 3 of the race saw Van Uden leading from the front with rivals Josh Kuysten and Bryn Thorne-George the only ones able to keep pace at the head of the race and lasting as a breakaway group of three riders put further time into the rest. The closest riders to them were a group containing Alex Williams, Glen Carabine, Greig McDonnell, Daniel Molyneux, Luke Verschaffelt and Steve Furminger who were chasing a little over 2 minutes adrift at the finish.
On the line Van Uden had the narrow beating of Kuysten, with Bryn Thorne-George rounding out the top 3. Alex Williams crossed the line just ahead of Glen Carabine and Jack McNeely to take fourth place.
For Alicia Evans, stage 3 represented a return to the top spot on the stage and an extension of her lead in the women’s standings. Evans was first across the line with Jorja Swain second and Louise Delaney third.
The final day presented riders with plenty to play for then, with the stage finishing on a tough uphill climb it was not easy to predict how the finale would pan out. Not many, however, were expecting a 45km solo breakaway from Logan Mort.
Mort took off a long way from the line and with a lot of work to do, but he wasted no time in making the most of the opportunity ahead of him, putting over 1.30mins into his closest challengers led by a group containing Gordon McCauley and Brendon Madden-Smith amongst others. Uncharacteristically for this year’s race, Josh Kuysten, Roman van Uden and co were a little way behind the leaders, marking each other too closely to have an impact on the race ahead.
Mort crossed the line as he’d spent the last 45km of the stage, solo. After 1.37mins Gordon McCauley led home Todd Hewlett and James Powers, with Madden-Smith, Neil Payne, Johan Hakkenbroek all in tow. Kuysten and Van Uden were inseparable, securing van Uden the GC crown by just 1 second.
Of the women it was Louise Delaney who had the legs to cross the line first, with a small 9 second gap to Alicia Evans, with Alice Chaplin third. Evans had done enough for the win overall though, with Louise Delaney second and Tanya Sharp third.