Australian rider Mitchell Lovelock-Fay has won the Tour of Southland, holding off a combined Kiwi challenge.
He's just the third international champion in the race's history.
Yellow was perhaps a fitting colour for Lovelock-Fay, as the first Australian cyclist to win the Tour of Southland in 50 years. He started the day with a narrow four-second hold on the jersey, but it was Wellington teammate Joe Cooper who smoked the time trial to win the penultimate stage.
"Today I had my wings on and just gave it everything I had," says Cooper.
Usually the team's workhorse, Lovelock-Fay seemed comfortable with a 41-second buffer on the ride home. But a number of Kiwi riders grouped together to support New Plymouth's Michael Torckler, as he became the leader on the road, Avanti Racing struggling to find much support for their man.
"Not wanting an international rider to win the tour, so they didn't really want to help us, but the boys just rallied together and dug deep," says Lovelock-Fay.
Mosgiel's Brad Evans was first home in Invercargill, some consolation after a tough week for his Powernet team.
"We lost our GC hope Ryan at the start of the week, so we were looking for any other opportunities and it's great to finish the tour on a high," says Evans.
Avanti was riding hard enough to hang onto the yellow jersey, while also picking up the team classification as the setup prepares to expand its Kiwi focus.
source: newshub archive