BRAD EVANS CEMENTS LEAD AT TOUR OF SOUTHLAND
4/11/15 - If Brad Evans goes onto win the 2015 SBS Bank Tour of Southland, he will certainly have earned the honour.
The PowerNet rider proved a worthy wearer of the yellow jersey on the third stage from Riverton to Te Anau - first with his teammates and then with some powerful individual riding to keep himself at the sharp end of the race.
Alex Frame (Kia Motors-Ascot Park) won the 150km Distinction Hotels stage from Tom Davison (Avanti Team Racing) and Southlander Matt Zenovich (Champion Systems Team Dallas) with Evans trailing home to keep a tight rein on the race.
“I’ve had experience of winning the Tour of Tasmania, so dealing with the pressure of the yellow jersey and the expectations and things that go with that,” Evans said.
“This tour is unique, it’s very difficult to control. I’m lucky that I’ve got a really strong team, but there’s still a long way to go and we are only halfway. This race could turn on its head yet, but I’m ready and my team is ready.”
A strong group of Frame, Joe Cooper (Avanti Racing Team), Logan Griffin (Olivers Real Food Racing), Mike Cuming (Team Cromwell) and Zenovich broke away after the Longwoods hillclimb.
They led by more than three minutes by Tuatapere, and more than four approaching the shadow of the Blackmount.
And that’s when things got really interesting.
With Cooper leading the charge over the climb, a bristling quartet of Evans, Tom Davison (Avanti Team Racing), Michael Vink (Team Mike Greer Homes) and tour contender Robbie Hucker (Barry Stewart Builders) set about charging down the escapees.
Evans, determined to retain the race lead, was massive in the chase, and he got great support from Vink who has had some impressive moments in this year’s race after a European season ruined by glandular fever.
When the two leading groups came together just before Manpouri, Zenovich, who would go on to win the stuff.co.nz Most Combative award, took off on a flyer with dreams of repeating his tage win into Te Anau from 2013, but the final 20km was about Evans and Vink and Frame's strong final sprint along the Te Anau lakeside.
“We knew if we held it together and no one did any silly attacks we would have a chance and it just played out that way,” Frame said.
“I backed myself as the best sprinter in that group once it all came together so it was more just waiting for something to happen to ruin it.”
Evans is now steeling himself for the second half of the Southland tour, including tomorrow’s 140km stage from Mossburn to Queenstown, finishing with the long climb up Coronet Peak.
“It’s always good to be out front and not on the back foot chasing. Roman [van Uden] was integral. He’s our road captain so he calls the shots and he did a power of work today. I was really happy with the whole team,” Evans said.
“Coronet Peak is a massive climb, you can lose minutes up there if you are not on the ball. Guys will be wanting to win the stage too, because it’s a very prestigious stage in its own right. It will interesting to see how it all unfolds tomorrow.”
Evans holds a 17sec lead over Hucker, with Mike Northey (Kia Motors-Ascot Park) trailing by 1min 23sec.
Joe Chapman (Creation Signs-L&M Group Ricoh) continues to lead the Harcourts sprint ace standings, while Nick Miller (Barry Stewart Builder) heads the Jesco Hydraulics King of the Mountain classification.
Nick Bain (Team Skoda Racing) is sixth overall and the leading under 23 rider in the Henderson Construction-sponsored category, while Brent Allnut (Placemakers) heads the Stonewood Homes silver jersey for riders over 40 years.
PowerNet lead the Wensley’s Cycles team classification.
Caption: Alex Frame (Kia Motors-Ascot Park) celebrates winning stage three into Te Anau at the 2015 SBS Bank Tour of Southland.
Photo courtesy: James Jubb/Envious Photography
Results from the Distinction Hotel third stage of the SBS Bank Tour of Southland.
Riverton - Tuatapere - Blackmount - Manapouri - Te Anau
1. Alex Frame (KAP) 3h27m55s; 2. Tom Davison (ART) ST; 3. Mathew Zenovich (CSD) at 02s; 4. Robbie Hucker (BSB) at 02s; 5. Michael Vink (MGH) at 02s; 6. Brad Evans (PNL) at 02s; 7. Logan Griffin (ORF) at 05s; 8. Joseph Cooper (ART) at 05s; 9. Mike Cumming (TCW) at 05s; 10. Brent Allnut (PMK) at 01m01s; 11. Morgan Smith (BSB) at 01m01s; 12. Adrian Hegyvary (PNL) at 01m01s; 13. Joshua Kuysten (CRT) at 01m01s; 14. Nick Miller (BSB) at 01m01s; 15. Gordian Banzer (CSD) at 01m01s; 16. Ryan Christensen (ORF) at 01m01s; 17. Anthony Chapman (CLM) at 01m01s; 18. Cyrill Kunz (CSD) at 01m01s; 19. Brett Grieve (TCW) at 01m01s; 20. Eric Marcotte (KAP) at 01m01s; 21. Mike Northey (KAP) at 01m01s; 22. Karl Poole (CLM) at 01m01s; 23. Taylor Gunman (ART) at 01m01s; 24. Marcus Culey (TCW) at 01m01s; 25. Fraser Gough (ART) at 01m01s;
1. Brad Evans (PNL) 12h18m46s; 2. Robbie Hucker (BSB) at 17s; 3. Mike Northey (KAP) at 01m23s; 4. Travis McCabe (KAP) at 03m21s; 5. Adrian Hegyvary (PNL) at 04m39s; 6. Nick Bain (TSR) at 05m20s; 7. Roman Van Uden (PNL) at 05m30s; 8. Robert Huisman (PNL) at 05m55s; 9. Michael Vink (MGH) at 05m58s; 10. Alex Frame (KAP) at 06m12s; 11. Liam Aitcheson (CLM) at 06m38s; 12. Marc Ryan (KAP) at 06m57s; 13. Joseph Cooper (ART) at 07m12s; 14. Eric Marcotte (KAP) at 07m12s; 15. Mike Cumming (TCW) at 07m25s; 16. Nicholas Katsonis (BSB) at 07m32s; 17. Luke MacPherson (BSB) at 07m42s; 18. Ryan Christensen (ORF) at 07m59s; 19. Gordian Banzer (CSD) at 08m52s; 20. Regan Gough (ART) at 09m30s; 21. Mathew Zenovich (CSD) at 09m56s; 22. Anthony Chapman (CLM) at 10m36s; 23. Jason Thomason (TFC) at 10m36s; 24. Tom Davison (ART) at 10m44s; 25. Josh Haggerty (CSD) at 11m11s;
1. Powernet 37h00m43s; 2. Kia Motors-Ascot Park at 02m38s; 3. Barry Stewart Builders at 09m52s; 4. Avanti Racing Team at 16m41s; 5. Champion System Team Dallas at 22m06s; 6. Team Cromwell at 26m59s; 7. Team Skoda Racing at 27m15s; 8. Creation Signs L&M Group Ricoh at 27m44s; 9. Olivers Real Food Racing at 28m04s; 10. Chesters Racing Team at 33m49s;
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. Joseph Cooper (ART) 12; 9. Mathew Zenovich (CSD) 12; 10. Robert Huisman (PNL) 11;
King of Mountains
1. Nick Miller (BSB) 23; 2. Joseph Cooper (ART) 19; 3. Brad Evans (PNL) 10; 4. Mathew Zenovich (CSD) 9; 5. Joe Chapman (CLM) 7; 6. Frank Sutton (CRT) 6; 7. Robbie Hucker (BSB) 6; 8. Roman Van Uden (PNL) 6; 9. Marc Ryan (KAP) 6; 10. Mike Cumming (TCW) 6;
Riders face 140km Stage 4, sponsored by Mitre 10 Mega Queenstown, from Mossburn to the top of Coronet Peak.