04/11/2010 - Crashing with an official’s motorbike would have cost Jeremy Yates the PowerNet Tour of Southland yellow jersey today had it not been for the etiquette of his greatest rival.
In an ironic incident given Yates rides for Share the Road, he hit the tarmac less than 1km from the stage finish on the side of the steep Crown Range, near Queenstown, and could have lost more than some skin of his legs.
“I was midway through the attack, I moved out to the right-hand side and the commissaries motorbike came past and tipped me off,” the Hastings rider said.
“Fortunately Hayden Roulston, who was on the front at the time, waited for me which was one of the unwritten rules of bike racing – it was a classy decision by him.
“There’s no written rule to say you have to but I was really disappointed to see George Bennett (Team SVS) making the most of it and attacking before the finish.”
But Yates had the last word, crossing the line 2sec ahead of Bennett.
“Luckily I had a shitload of adrenalin and I was able to peg him back and take the win.”
Bennett, who lies third in the King of the Mountain stakes, was unremorseful.
“No regrets … bike racing’s bike racing,” he said. “I’m not in the hunt for the yellow jersey … I’m here to win stages – sure you wait for the yellow jersey if you’re a GC contender but if you’re 15 minutes down, it’s your own race.”
Roulston, who crossed in third just 5sec behind Yates, believed inexperience played a role.
“You just don’t do stuff like that you know. For one, it’s the yellow jersey, and two, he’s (Yates) a very well-respected rider – it’s just not etiquette,” he said.
“George Bennett, he’s a super talent this guy and he just took off – but each to their own and what goes around comes around.”
Share the Road once again influenced proceedings from the front of the peloton during the 133km stage, with Orca Velo Merino also putting in some hard yards.
An early break of seven riders was allowed to roam free for the majority of the trek into Central Otago and featured Subway Avanti’s Joe Cooper and Alex Meenhorst, of Team SVS, battling for King of the Mountain honours.
With the gap stretched to nearly three minutes before Kingston, Meenhorst, of Auckland, earned the honour of being the leader on the road – albeit briefly – while Wellington’s Cooper retained the KOM jersey he has held since Tuesday.
As the chasing pack swallowed the breakaway bunch near Arrowtown, Share the Road’s Jack Bauer, the current New Zealand road race champion, struck out on his own and notched up speeds close to 70kmh, prompting team-mate Gordon McCauley to quip “Jack’s pretending to be a motorbike”.
With Calder Stewart increasing the tempo, the ascent soon became a rematch of Monday’s slog up Bluff Hill as Yates, Bauer and Roulston engaged in combat for stage glory.
With three stages remaining, Yates predicted “much of the same” tactically over the next two days.
“Share the Road will be on the front and I’ll be sitting pretty,” he said. “To win the Tour of Southland has been a dream of mine for 10 years now … we can only take things one day at a time but every stage that we tick off is another day closer to Share the Road taking the tour.”
Yet to unleash their full power, Roulston and his Calder Stewart team were undoubtedly preparing to strike.
“I’ve won this race twice on the second last stage of the tour so I don’t believe this race is won until you cross the finish line in Invercargill to be honest,” Roulston said.
He conceded Share the Road, and particularly Bauer, had proved solid, but the race was taking its toll.
“The rest of his team are shot through – they’re basically on their deathbed and so they should be, they’re not robots.”
“Some of their tactics haven’t exactly been professional – if it was me in their situation a couple of times I would have let a break go … maybe it’s too many chiefs in one team trying to call the shots.
“But they’ve ridden perfectly all week in terms of how strong they are and they’ll be a hard team to beat.”
Benchmark Homes young gun Josh Aitkins, of Christchurch, put in a gutsy display to finish the stage in fourth place, just 5sec adrift of Yates, and snatch the PSIS Under-23 jersey from team-mate Daniel Barry.
Pure Black Racing’s Roman van Uden, of Auckland, has established a commanding lead over Ascot Park Hotel’s Clinton Avery, of Rotorua, to keep a firm grip on the Sprint Ace jersey.
Tomorrow’s 163km stage to Te Anau starts in Winton at 10am.
1. Jeremy Yates (Share the Road) 3h43m15s; 2. George Bennett (Team SVS) at 02s; 3. Hayden Roulston (Calder Stewart-BikeNZ National) at 05s; 4. Josh Atkins (Benchmark Homes) at 05s; 5. Jack Bauer (Share the Road) at 10s; 6. Floyd Landis (Orca Velo Merino) at 27s; 7. Michael Olheiser (Jackson Plumbing-Plumbing World) at 28s; 8. Sergio Hernandez (Jackson Plumbing-Plumbing World) at 38s; 9. Anthony Chapman (Creation Signs-Ultimo) at 39s; 10. Shem Rodger (Pure Black Racing) at 39s; 11. Aaron Strong (Ascot Park Hotel) at 39s; 12. Matthew Marshall (The Southland Times-H&J's Outdoor World) at 43s; 13. Glen Chadwick (Pure Black Racing) at 50s; 14. Brad Carter (PowerNet) at 52s; 15. Daniel Barry (Benchmark Homes) at 52s; 16. Clinton Avery (Ascot Park Hotel) at 01m03s; 17. James Early (Benchmark Homes) at 01m06s; 18. Mike Northey (Pure Black Racing) at 01m06s; 19. Pedro Palma (Placemakers) at 01m09s; 20. Kevin Nicol (Jackson Plumbing-Plumbing World) at 01m11s; 21. Aaron Gate (Team Motatapu) at 01m14s; 22. Benjamin Blaugrund (moxxchopper.com) at 01m22s; 23. Thomas Delany (Barry Stewart Builders) at 01m25s; 24. Sheldon Gorter (Team Motatapu) at 01m28s; 25. Andrew MacKay (Creation Signs-Ultimo) at 01m30s;
1. Jeremy Yates (Share the Road) 14h03m06s; 2. Jack Bauer (Share the Road) at 24s; 3. Hayden Roulston (Calder Stewart-BikeNZ National) at 31s; 4. Floyd Landis (Orca Velo Merino) at 01m39s; 5. Michael Olheiser (Jackson Plumbing-Plumbing World) at 01m48s; 6. Josh Atkins (Benchmark Homes) at 02m08s; 7. Matthew Marshall (The Southland Times-H&J's Outdoor World) at 02m14s; 8. Daniel Barry (Benchmark Homes) at 02m18s; 9. Sergio Hernandez (Jackson Plumbing-Plumbing World) at 02m39s; 10. Mike Northey (Pure Black Racing) at 02m54s; 11. Clinton Avery (Ascot Park Hotel) at 02m58s; 12. Glen Chadwick (Pure Black Racing) at 02m59s; 13. Anthony Chapman (Creation Signs-Ultimo) at 03m28s; 14. Shem Rodger (Pure Black Racing) at 03m41s; 15. James McCoy (Benchmark Homes) at 03m57s; 16. Kevin Nicol (Jackson Plumbing-Plumbing World) at 04m12s; 17. Alexander Ray (Orca Velo Merino) at 04m20s; 18. Brad Carter (PowerNet) at 04m30s; 19. Pedro Palma (Placemakers) at 04m39s; 20. Gordon McCauley (Share the Road) at 04m57s; 21. William Tehan (Orca Velo Merino) at 05m02s; 22. Joseph Chapman (Creation Signs-Ultimo) at 05m44s; 23. Karl Moore (Team SVS) at 05m51s; 24. Ryan Obst (Radio Sport) at 05m59s; 25. Aaron Gate (Team Motatapu) at 06m04s;
1. Share the Road 42h14m59s; 2. Benchmark Homes at 01m39s; 3. Jackson Plumbing-Plumbing World at 02m58s; 4. Pure Black Racing at 03m40s; 5. Orca Velo Merino at 05m20s; 6. Team SVS at 07m46s; 7. Calder Stewart-BikeNZ National at 10m32s; 8. PowerNet at 11m18s; 9. Creation Signs-Ultimo at 14m05s; 10. The Southland Times-H&J's Outdoor World at 16m08s;
1. Roman Van Uden (Pure Black Racing) 68; 2. Clinton Avery (Ascot Park Hotel) 38; 3. Bevan Mason (Ascot Park Hotel) 24; 4. Karl Murray (Share the Road) 22; 5. Mike Northey (Pure Black Racing) 20; 6. Glen Chadwick (Pure Black Racing) 18; 7. Joe Cooper (Subway Avanti Pro Cycling) 15; 8. Mark Langlands (Pure Black Racing) 14; 9. Alex Meenhorst (Team SVS) 13; 10. Will Dickeson (Team SVS) 12;
1. Joe Cooper (Subway Avanti Pro Cycling) 34; 2. Alex Meenhorst (Team SVS) 22; 3. George Bennett (Team SVS) 16; 4. Jeremy Yates (Share the Road) 12; 5. Clinton Avery (Ascot Park Hotel) 10; 6. Josh Atkins (Benchmark Homes) 10; 7. Wade Mangham (Ascot Park Hotel) 6; 8. James Williamson (Subway Avanti Pro Cycling) 6; 9. Jack Bauer (Share the Road) 6; 10. Hayden Roulston (Calder Stewart-BikeNZ National) 4;
Full results can be found here.