REDEMPTION FOR BRAD EVANS ON TOUR OF SOUTHLAND
3/11/15 - Two years ago Dunedin’s Brad Evans missed out on a maiden stage win in Te Anau on the SBS Bank Tour of Southland.
The 2015 edition, however, will see the PowerNet rider return to the lakeside town with the yellow jersey on his back after he conquered Bluff Hill this afternoon.
Evans, who also won the final stage of last year’s race on Gala St, is excited about starting tomorrow’s third stage from Riverton to Te Anau as the race leader.
“I’m ecstatic. It’s great for PowerNet, we’ve had two from two now with Roman [van Uden] winning yesterday,” Evans said.
“This tour is so prestigious. I grew up in Dunedin, not too far away, always watching the tour and waiting for my turn until I’d be able to do it. It’s a huge honour - the is the oldest bike race in New Zealand - so I’m very proud to wear [the yellow jersey] tomorrow.”
There was little respite for the peloton today after challenging winds on Monday.
On a day as cold and gray as regret, persistent rain followed the race for much of the 155km BDO-sponsored stage from Invercargill out to Winton, before hooking back through the city and out to the short but brutal climb up Bluff Hill.
A strong breakaway featuring riders from all of the major contending teams formed even as the race left Invercargill and managed to stay away with little enthusiasm for chasing from the peloton.
Leading by close to 10 minutes as the race approached the port town of Bluff, Fraser Gough (Avanti Racing Team) and United States rider Travis McCabe (Kia Motors-Ascot Park) slipped off the front of the break and attacked up Motu Pohue first, with McCabe the early favourite for line honours, and Invercargill’s Robert Huisman (PowerNet) going in search of a Southland stage win.
Evans, who is fresh from winning the Tour of Tasmania a month ago, attacked with 200m to go for his second win in Southland, beating runner-up Australian Robbie Hucker (Barry Stewart Builders) and third-placed Alexandra rider Liam Aitcheson (Creation Signs-L&M Group Ricoh) by 8sec.
“Today was a really interesting day. I ended up going with the breakaway with a few guys so we had to work quite hard before getting to the base of the hill so that made it especially tough on everyone and especially in the conditions. Today was very cold and wet which made it a tough day all round,” Evans said.
“I love the rain. I embrace it, it doesn’t seem to affect me too much. I train in it back home in Dunedin and it’s good for the team. We’ve got a lot of big guys in the team so we excel when it’s windy, and when it’s hard.”
Evans starts stage three with a 19sec lead over Hucker, with 2012 Southland winner Mike Northey (Kia Motors-Ascot Park) trailing by 24sec.
Pre-race favourites Avanti Racing Team have put their title defence in a challenging position, with Joe Cooper their highest ranked rider.
Cooper is 17th overall, more than seven minutes down on Evans.
With three riders in today’s break, PowerNet have taken a handy lead in the Wensley’s Cycles team classification.
The other big mover of the day was Joe Chapman (Creation Signs-L&M Group Ricoh), who has taken a commanding lead of the Harcourts sprint ace classification.
Auckland's Nick Bain (Team Skoda Racing) leads the Henderson Construction under 23 standings, in seventh place overall.
Barry Stewart Builders' Nick Miller retained the Hesco Hydraulics King of the Mountains jersey, while Placemakers' Brent Allnut also kept the Stonewood Homes silver jersey for riders 40 and over. Fraser Gough was rewarded with the stuff.co.nz Most Combative award.
Caption: Dunedin's Brad Evans climbs his way up Bluff Hill to a stage victory and the overall lead in the 2015 SBS Bank Tour of Southland.
Photo courtesy James Jubb Envious Photography
Results from the 3rd stage of the SBS Bank Tour of Southland.
BDO 155km Invercargill - Winton - Wallacetown - Bluff Hill
1. Brad Evans (PNL) 3h52m52s; 2. Robbie Hucker (BSB) at 08s; 3. Liam Aitcheson (CLM) at 08s; 4. Travis McCabe (KAP) at 15s; 5. Robert Huisman (PNL) at 17s; 6. Mike Northey (KAP) at 17s; 7. Nick Bain (TSR) at 42s; 8. Nicholas Katsonis (BSB) at 01m32s; 9. Jason Thomason (TFC) at 01m50s; 10. Fraser Gough (ART) at 02m18s; 11. Adrian Hegyvary (PNL) at 02m47s; 12. Fraser Hewett (CSD) at 04m25s; 13. Sam Phipps (TSR) at 04m25s; 14. Nathan Bunn (CRT) at 05m36s; 15. Michael Vink (MGH) at 06m00s; 16. Mike Cumming (TCW) at 06m13s; 17. Adam Bull (PMK) at 06m17s; 18. Alex Frame (KAP) at 06m17s; 19. Eric Marcotte (KAP) at 06m26s; 20. Callum Gordon (TSR) at 06m26s; 21. Josh Haggerty (CSD) at 06m26s; 22. Regan Gough (ART) at 06m26s; 23. Luke MacPherson (BSB) at 06m26s; 24. Nick Osten (ADC) at 06m26s; 25. Roman Van Uden (PNL) at 06m26s;
1. Brad Evans (PNL) 8h50m49s; 2. Robbie Hucker (BSB) at 19s; 3. Mike Northey (KAP) at 24s; 4. Travis McCabe (KAP) at 02m22s; 5. Robert Huisman (PNL) at 03m31s; 6. Adrian Hegyvary (PNL) at 03m40s; 7. Nick Bain (TSR) at 04m21s; 8. Roman Van Uden (PNL) at 04m31s; 9. Liam Aitcheson (CLM) at 05m39s; 10. Marc Ryan (KAP) at 05m45s; 11. Michael Vink (MGH) at 05m59s; 12. Eric Marcotte (KAP) at 06m13s; 13. Alex Frame (KAP) at 06m25s; 14. Nicholas Katsonis (BSB) at 06m33s; 15. Luke MacPherson (BSB) at 06m43s; 16. Ryan Christensen (ORF) at 07m00s; 17. Joseph Cooper (ART) at 07m12s; 18. Mike Cumming (TCW) at 07m24s; 19. Gordian Banzer (CSD) at 07m53s; 20. Regan Gough (ART) at 08m31s; 21. Jason Thomason (TFC) at 09m27s; 22. Anthony Chapman (CLM) at 09m37s; 23. Mathew Zenovich (CSD) at 10m03s; 24. Josh Haggerty (CSD) at 10m12s; 25. Jake Marryatt (TCW) at 10m34s;
1. Powernet 26h34m54s; 2. Kia Motors-Ascot Park at 02m40s; 3. Barry Stewart Builders at 09m52s; 4. Avanti Racing Team at 17m39s; 5. Champion System Team Dallas at 22m06s; 6. Team Skoda Racing at 26m16s; 7. Creation Signs L&M Group Ricoh at 26m45s; 8. Team Cromwell at 26m56s; 9. Olivers Real Food Racing at 28m01s; 10. Chesters Racing Team at 32m50s;
1. Joe Chapman (CLM) 52; 2. Fraser Gough (ART) 30; 3. Roman Van Uden (PNL) 24; 4. Marc Ryan (KAP) 19; 5. Travis McCabe (KAP) 19; 6. Nathan Bunn (CRT) 18; 7. Frank Sutton (CRT) 13; 8. Robert Huisman (PNL) 11; 9. Liam Aitcheson (CLM) 6; 10. Nick Miller (BSB) 4;
King of Mountains
1. Nick Miller (BSB) 23; 2. Brad Evans (PNL) 10; 3. Joe Chapman (CLM) 7; 4. Frank Sutton (CRT) 6; 5. Robbie Hucker (BSB) 6; 6. Roman Van Uden (PNL) 6; 7. Marc Ryan (KAP) 6; 8. Liam Aitcheson (CLM) 4; 9. Travis McCabe (KAP) 3; 10. Fraser Gough (ART) 2.
Riders face 150km Stage 3, sponsored by Distinction Hotels Te Anau, from Riverton to Te Anau.