Torckler takes yellow on Coronet Peak . . . again!

Michael Torckler will get another shot at winning the SBS Bank Tour of Southland after dominating the gruelling Coronet Peak hill climb today.  Twelve months ago the New Plymouth rider won the same 138km stage from Mossburn to Coronet Peak, only to see his ambitions smashed to pieces the next day on the way to the iconic Bluff Hill finish.

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Michael Torckler has long been a rival of now teammates Logan Griffin & Alex Heaney, photo Studio Jubb

Michael Torckler will get another shot at winning the SBS Bank Tour of Southland after dominating the gruelling Coronet Peak hill climb today.  Twelve months ago the New Plymouth rider won the same 138km stage from Mossburn to Coronet Peak, only to see his ambitions smashed to pieces the next day on the way to the iconic Bluff Hill finish.

It would be tempting to use a word like redemption for Torckler, but remember this is a rider who has already survived a potentially life-ending crash in the United States five years ago.  Torckler will now look to his Blindz Direct team mates to give him the opportunity to defend a 44sec buffer.  

“Obviously the tour is not over, and we saw that last year with the lead change pretty much every day,” Torckler said as he savoured victory from the lofty surrounds of the Coronet Peak carpark.  “You take a lot from that. Tomorrow it’s going to be really important, just watching some key guys, not getting caught out anywhere and making sure my teammates just wrap around me, that’s going to be the key.”

Starting the stage as a strong favourite for line honours, Torckler was full of praise for the work his team did to get him through the stage.  “I’ve felt a bit of pressure for a few days now, but I certainly had a good group of guys around me to ease that,” he said.  “They delivered me right at the front. Jason Thomason went as hard as he could right into the bottom and I was exactly where I needed to be.

“I wouldn’t say I was feeling super amazing and it was hard to tell how the guys around me were feeling so it was hard to know how much effort to put in. It certainly split up pretty quickly and I had a few digs and could see the boys were on the ropes. With 5km to go I put in a decent attack and soloed from there.”

With fine conditions and light winds for a third day, aggressive riding eventually saw a selection of six riders escape after the Jollies Pass climb, with Joshua Scott (Creation Signs L&M Mining Group Ricoh), Ethan Batt (Mike Greer Homes), ITM riders Nicholas Costello and Brendan Cole, Alex Ray (Wheelworks Handcrafted Wheels) and Kris Rush (Adair Craik Accountants) getting out to a 7min lead at one point.

The real action started at the bottom of Coronet, however, with Torckler, Brad Evans (PowerNet), Michael Vink (Mike Greer Homes) and Canadian James Piccoli (Kia Motors-Ascot Park Hotel) all looking to press their tour claims.  Evans cracked early and finished 15th, while Piccoli had to settle for second place on the stage and overall standings, 44sec down, with Vink third on the stage and 51sec down on Torckler overall.

Callum Gordon (Business South) took out the Jollies Pass climb to retain the King of the Mountain jersey, with Alexandra’s James Williamson (Creation Signs L&M Mining Group Ricoh) holding a six point lead over Gordon in the Sprint Ace standings.

Kia Motors-Ascot Park Hotel took over the teams classification, while Alex West (Team Skoda Racing) is the leading under 23 rider, in seventh place overall. Andy Hagan (Wheelworks Handcrafted Wheels) is the leading over 35 rider, in 18th place overall.

Alex Ray, who punctured before Frankton to lose touch with the break, was awarded the Most Combative award, while Matt Zenovich (Mike Greer Homes) was presented with the John Vercoe Trophy as the first Southlander up Coronet Peak.

Tomorrow’s stage 4 takes the riders 148.5km from Invercargill to Bluff Hill. The 2017 SBS Bank Tour of Southland finishes in Invercargill on November 4.

An exhausted Torckler slumps at the finish on Coronet Peak, photo Studio Jubb
Stage 4 results:
Pos. Rider Time

1

Michael TORCKLERBlindz Direct 3:44:04 (37.49 km/h)

2

James PICCOLIKia Motors – Ascot Park Hotel 00:32

3

Michael VINKMike Greer Homes 00:37

4

Raphael FREIENSTEINAardvark Excavators Ltd 01:36

5

Lionel MAWDITTTeam Skoda Racing 01:50

6

Mike CUMINGAardvark Excavators Ltd 02:04

7

Taylor GUNMANKia Motors – Ascot Park Hotel 02:15

8

Alex WESTTeam Skoda Racing 02:20

9

Boris CLARKCalder Stewart 02:30

10

Ryan CHRISTENSENKia Motors – Ascot Park Hotel 02:39

11

Jake MARRYATTCalder Stewart 02:47

12

Matt ROSSPowernet ST

13

Sam MOBBERLEYITM ST

14

John WANSINKAdair Craik Accountants 03:16

15

Brad EVANSPowernet 03:25

16

Kane RICHARDSITM 03:38

17

James FOUCHECreation Signs L&M Group Ricoh 03:50

18

Ben ANDREWSAardvark Excavators Ltd 04:43

19

Tim RUSHMike Greer Homes 04:51

20

Andy HAGANWheelworks Handcrafted Wheels ST

21

Richard RANDALLGiant Lakeside ST

22

Campbell PITHIEITM 05:08

23

Ben ROBERTSONTotalPOS 05:20

24

Matthew HIGGINSWheelworks Handcrafted Wheels ST

25

Rylan DOWDELLBlindz Direct 05:23

26

Paul ODLINPowernet 05:32

27

Alex QUIRKAdair Craik Accountants 05:36

28

Roman VAN UDENPowernet 05:56

29

Mathew ZENOVICHMike Greer Homes 06:04

30

Cyrus MONKKia Motors – Ascot Park Hotel ST

31

Carne GROUBECentral Benchmakers – Willbike 06:09

32

Florian BARKETTeam Skoda Racing 06:21

33

Nick KERGOZOUPlacemakers 06:32

34

Ben BARRYCreation Signs L&M Group Ricoh 06:46

35

Blake TAIT-JONESBusiness South 06:49

36

Andrew KINGTotalPOS 06:55

37

Morgan SMITHAardvark Excavators Ltd 06:59

38

Conner SALLEEGiant Lakeside 07:24

39

Steve NICHOLLSTank Guy / Bikebox 07:27

40

Calvin STANDRILLTalbot Forest Cheese – Ultimo 07:44

41

Matias FITZWATERCalder Stewart 07:52

42

Greg TAYLORTalbot Forest Cheese – Ultimo 08:07

43

Luke MACPHERSONPlacemakers 08:22

44

Ollie JONESPowernet 08:29

45

Matt CRYERWheelworks Handcrafted Wheels 08:34

46

Dan FURMINGERCalder Stewart 08:38

47

Joseph SWALECentral Benchmakers – Willbike 08:44

48

Frank SUTTONGiant Lakeside 08:50

49

Grayson KEPPLERGiant Lakeside ST

50

Nick BEGGTalbot Forest Cheese – Ultimo 09:40

51

Kane MCCOLLUMWheelworks Handcrafted Wheels 10:13

52

Callum PEARCEMike Greer Homes 10:31

53

Brendan COLEITM 11:14

54

Josh KUYSTENBlindz Direct 11:33

55

Joel YATESTeam Skoda Racing 11:37

56

Bradley LEITCHTeam Skoda Racing 12:28

57

Paul WRIGHTCentral Benchmakers – Willbike 12:59

58

Gavin MASONBusiness South ST

59

Eric MARCOTTEKia Motors – Ascot Park Hotel 13:22

60

Alexander RAYWheelworks Handcrafted Wheels ST

61

Kris RUSHAdair Craik Accountants 13:35

62

Ethan BATTMike Greer Homes ST

63

Hefin PRICETotalPOS ST

64

Kevin GIRKINSKia Motors – Ascot Park Hotel ST

65

Owen OWENSCalder Stewart 13:39

66

Alex HEANEYPowernet ST

67

Liam CAPPELAdair Craik Accountants 14:16

68

Alex BEEDIECalder Stewart 14:25

69

Rob SCARLETTAardvark Excavators Ltd 14:27

70

Jason THOMASONBlindz Direct ST

71

Logan GRIFFINTank Guy / Bikebox 14:35

72

Jakob LESTERPlacemakers 14:44

73

Hamish BEADLEBusiness South ST

74

Glen REWIMike Greer Homes 15:18

75

Chris LATTATalbot Forest Cheese – Ultimo 15:23

76

Dan CROSSAardvark Excavators Ltd 15:33

77

Josh HAGGERTYPlacemakers 15:46

78

Jordan GILMORECentral Benchmakers – Willbike 16:03

79

Nick ROSSTotalPOS ST

80

Daniel RAETotalPOS ST

81

Ian EAGLETank Guy / Bikebox 16:12

82

Callum GORDONBusiness South 16:24

83

James WILLIAMSONCreation Signs L&M Group Ricoh 16:53

84

Martin RYDERTalbot Forest Cheese – Ultimo 17:20

85

Joshua SCOTTCreation Signs L&M Group Ricoh 17:49

86

Joseph CHAPMANCreation Signs L&M Group Ricoh ST

87

David WEAVERWheelworks Handcrafted Wheels 18:00

88

Joe HUTCHINSONTotalPOS 18:16

89

Max JONESTeam Skoda Racing ST

90

Samuel MILLERPlacemakers 19:42

91

William MILBURNBusiness South 20:03

92

Travis KANEBusiness South 20:25

93

Timothy CHAPMANCreation Signs L&M Group Ricoh 20:54

94

Reon NOLANITM ST

95

Louis CROSBYBlindz Direct 21:23

96

Joshua ALDRIDGEBlindz Direct 21:38

97

Jared GRAYPlacemakers 21:46

98

Nicholas COSTELLOITM 22:52

99

William FINDLAYTalbot Forest Cheese – Ultimo 22:57

100

Sam GARDNERTank Guy / Bikebox 23:18

101

Guy CARTERCentral Benchmakers – Willbike 23:53

102

Michael SMITHGiant Lakeside 24:02

103

Benjamin WILLIAMSGiant Lakeside 24:04

 

General classification after stage 3:
Pos. Rider Time

1

Michael TORCKLERBlindz Direct 11:39:35

2

James PICCOLIKia Motors – Ascot Park Hotel 00:44

3

Michael VINKMike Greer Homes 00:51

4

Raphael FREIENSTEINAardvark Excavators Ltd 01:57

5

Mike CUMINGAardvark Excavators Ltd 02:24

6

Taylor GUNMANKia Motors – Ascot Park Hotel 02:27

7

Alex WESTTeam Skoda Racing 02:42

8

Ryan CHRISTENSENKia Motors – Ascot Park Hotel 03:01

9

Sam MOBBERLEYITM 03:12

10

Jake MARRYATTCalder Stewart 03:22

11

Brad EVANSPowernet 03:37

12

Kane RICHARDSITM 03:57

13

James FOUCHECreation Signs L&M Group Ricoh 04:17

14

Boris CLARKCalder Stewart 04:58

15

Matt ROSSPowernet 05:04

16

Tim RUSHMike Greer Homes 05:09

17

Ben ANDREWSAardvark Excavators Ltd 05:10

18

Andy HAGANWheelworks Handcrafted Wheels 05:17

19

Richard RANDALLGiant Lakeside 05:23

20

Paul ODLINPowernet 05:46

21

Roman VAN UDENPowernet 06:01

22

Mathew ZENOVICHMike Greer Homes 06:22

23

Cyrus MONKKia Motors – Ascot Park Hotel 06:23

24

Carne GROUBECentral Benchmakers – Willbike 06:43

25

Lionel MAWDITTTeam Skoda Racing 06:47

26

Nick KERGOZOUPlacemakers 06:49

27

Morgan SMITHAardvark Excavators Ltd 07:21

28

Campbell PITHIEITM 07:26

29

Rylan DOWDELLBlindz Direct 07:36

30

Alex QUIRKAdair Craik Accountants 08:20

31

Calvin STANDRILLTalbot Forest Cheese – Ultimo ST

32

John WANSINKAdair Craik Accountants 08:32

33

Ben BARRYCreation Signs L&M Group Ricoh 09:06

34

Blake TAIT-JONESBusiness South 09:21

35

Frank SUTTONGiant Lakeside 09:22

36

Andrew KINGTotalPOS 09:33

37

Conner SALLEEGiant Lakeside 09:49

38

Matias FITZWATERCalder Stewart 10:20

39

Matthew HIGGINSWheelworks Handcrafted Wheels 10:23

40

Greg TAYLORTalbot Forest Cheese – Ultimo 10:36

41

Ollie JONESPowernet ST

42

Luke MACPHERSONPlacemakers 10:37

43

Callum PEARCEMike Greer Homes 10:49

44

Matt CRYERWheelworks Handcrafted Wheels 10:55

45

Joseph SWALECentral Benchmakers – Willbike 11:11

46

Grayson KEPPLERGiant Lakeside 11:15

47

Florian BARKETTeam Skoda Racing 11:17

48

Josh KUYSTENBlindz Direct 11:53

49

Steve NICHOLLSTank Guy / Bikebox 12:03

50

Nick BEGGTalbot Forest Cheese – Ultimo 12:09

51

Brendan COLEITM 13:32

52

Dan FURMINGERCalder Stewart 13:48

53

Kevin GIRKINSKia Motors – Ascot Park Hotel 13:57

54

Bradley LEITCHTeam Skoda Racing 15:07

55

Kane MCCOLLUMWheelworks Handcrafted Wheels 15:16

56

Alexander RAYWheelworks Handcrafted Wheels 15:40

57

Ethan BATTMike Greer Homes 15:41

58

Gavin MASONBusiness South 15:58

59

Kris RUSHAdair Craik Accountants 16:06

60

Josh HAGGERTYPlacemakers 16:08

61

Joel YATESTeam Skoda Racing 16:34

62

James WILLIAMSONCreation Signs L&M Group Ricoh 17:20

63

Paul WRIGHTCentral Benchmakers – Willbike 18:08

64

Eric MARCOTTEKia Motors – Ascot Park Hotel 18:17

65

Joshua SCOTTCreation Signs L&M Group Ricoh 18:22

66

Hefin PRICETotalPOS 18:41

67

Alex HEANEYPowernet 18:42

68

Jason THOMASONBlindz Direct 19:22

69

Alex BEEDIECalder Stewart 19:35

70

Rob SCARLETTAardvark Excavators Ltd 19:42

71

Logan GRIFFINTank Guy / Bikebox 20:28

72

Max JONESTeam Skoda Racing 20:31

73

Jakob LESTERPlacemakers 20:34

74

Owen OWENSCalder Stewart 21:56

75

Ben ROBERTSONTotalPOS 22:06

76

Liam CAPPELAdair Craik Accountants 22:30

77

Chris LATTATalbot Forest Cheese – Ultimo 23:32

78

Jordan GILMORECentral Benchmakers – Willbike 24:10

79

Jared GRAYPlacemakers 24:25

80

Ian EAGLETank Guy / Bikebox 24:39

81

Nicholas COSTELLOITM 25:10

82

Joe HUTCHINSONTotalPOS 26:20

83

Dan CROSSAardvark Excavators Ltd 26:50

84

Joshua ALDRIDGEBlindz Direct 27:50

85

Samuel MILLERPlacemakers 28:14

86

Louis CROSBYBlindz Direct 29:16

87

Callum GORDONBusiness South 31:05

88

Hamish BEADLEBusiness South 31:10

89

Sam GARDNERTank Guy / Bikebox 31:30

90

Glen REWIMike Greer Homes 32:03

91

Nick ROSSTotalPOS 32:43

92

Joseph CHAPMANCreation Signs L&M Group Ricoh 32:44

93

Daniel RAETotalPOS 32:59

94

Martin RYDERTalbot Forest Cheese – Ultimo 33:30

95

William FINDLAYTalbot Forest Cheese – Ultimo 33:56

96

David WEAVERWheelworks Handcrafted Wheels 34:15

97

William MILBURNBusiness South 36:03

98

Travis KANEBusiness South 36:47

99

Michael SMITHGiant Lakeside 37:01

100

Timothy CHAPMANCreation Signs L&M Group Ricoh 37:54

101

Reon NOLANITM 38:40

102

Benjamin WILLIAMSGiant Lakeside 41:12

103

Guy CARTERCentral Benchmakers – Willbike 43:06

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