EVANS PRIMED TO BECOME THIRD OTAGO RIDER TO WIN TOUR OF SOUTHLAND
6/11/15 - PowerNet’s Brad Evans will take a 14sec lead into tomorrow’s final two stages of the 2015 SBS Bank Tour of Southland.
Evans, seeking to become just the third Dunedin-based rider to win New Zealand’s most prestigious stage race, retained his advantage over Barry Stewart Builders rider Robbie Hucker, from Australia.
Former winner Mike Northey (Kia Motors-Ascot Park) sits in third place overall at 2min 51sec.
Tired legs were exposed in the peloton today as the race splintered during the first half of the 150km Mataura Licensing Trust-sponsored stage from Invercargill to Gore.
Evans was prominent in the early break as the race headed south and the field became increasingly dislocated, but it was a subsequent breakaway by Joe Cooper (Avanti Team Racing), Matt Zenovich (Champion Systems Team Dallas) and Nick Bain (Team Skoda Racing) which decided the stage.
By Edendale the trio had escaped out to nearly a minute and they wouldn’t be sighted again.
The second time over the Broughton St climb in Gore Cooper broke away to to ensure a solo ride into a stage victory which has provided a salve for the defending Avanti team who have struggled to repeat their winning efforts of 12 months ago.
“We’ve been a bit below par and we wanted to come out today and knock it out of the ballpark,” Cooper said.
“You train hard for weeks on end just to be fit enough to come down here and you have to fire some shots. Sometimes they pay off and sometimes they don’t. We had a few bad days early in the week and we are trying to turn it around now.”
Since winning the team time trial on Sunday and installing Cooper in the yellow jersey, things have not gone Avanti’s way.
“That first day going to Lumsden, we really needed someone in that move of five guys because we were just put to the sword into that headwind,” Cooper said.
“Going to Bluff all the GC guys were in the move and all our GC guys were back in the bunch watching it happen. [There wasn’t] much we could have done about it, if you aren’t in the move you aren’t in the bike race.”
Zenovich finished second on the stage for his second podium of the week and claimed the stuff.co.nz Most Combative award, with Bain finishing third and reclaiming the Henderson Construction under 23 jersey, which he lost to Liam Aitcheson on Coronet Peak on Thursday.
Meanwhile, Evans has a 13km Niagara-sponsored individual time trial in the morning and an 81.2km Ascot Park Hotel-sponsored final stage to negotiate tomorrow.
If he can do that he will join Kelvin Hastie, winner of the inaugural race in 1956, and Gordon McCauley (1996) as Otago winners of the Tour of Southland.
“The gap is only 14sec, so it’s still really tight,” Evans said.
“Short time trial tomorrow, guys have been known to take a minute in that, so it’s going to come down to who has the better legs on the day.”
Evans and Hucker know each other well having been teammates when Evans won the Tour of Tasmania last month.
“He’s a fierce competitor, but still a nice guy,” Evans said.
“We are definitely rivals at the moment, so I won’t be taking anything for granted and I’ll be doing my best.”
Bain now has 54sec over Aitcheson (Creation Signs-L&M Group Ricoh) in the under 23 classification, while it’s also a tight contest for the Harcourts sprint ace jersey, with Joe Chapman (Creation Signs-L&M Group Ricoh) leading Fraser Gough (Avanti Team Racing) by just eight points with plenty of sprint points still up for grabs on the final stage.
Cooper’s big day out in eastern Southland has seen him take a comprehensive lead in the Jesco Hydraulics King of the Mountains classification, while Brent Allnut (Placemakers) continues to build his lead in the Stonewood Homes silver jersey for riders 40 years and over.
Barry Stewart Builders holds a 15sec lead over Kia Motors-Ascot Park in the Wensley’s Cycles team classification.
Caption: Avanti Team Racing's Joe Cooper celebrates winning stage five of the 2015 SBS Bank Tour of Southland in Gore.
Photo courtesy: James Jubb/Envious Photography
Caption: Dunedin's Brad Evans (PowerNet) will defend a 14sec lead heading into the final two stages of the 2015 SBS Bank Tour of Southland on Saturday.
Photo courtesy: James Jubb/Envious Photography
Results from the Mataura Licensing Trust fifth stage of the 2015 SBS Bank Tour of Southland.
Invercargill - Edendale - Gore - Riversdale - Gore
1. Joseph Cooper (ART) 3h26m23s; 2. Mathew Zenovich (CSD) at 01m37s; 3. Nick Bain (TSR) at 01m41s; 4. Mitchell Lovelock-Fay (ART) at 03m32s; 5. Jake Marryatt (TCW) at 03m32s; 6. Mike Cumming (TCW) at 03m37s; 7. Nicholas Katsonis (BSB) at 03m37s; 8. Mike Northey (KAP) at 03m41s; 9. Brad Evans (PNL) at 03m43s; 10. Robbie Hucker (BSB) at 03m43s; 11. Tom Davison (ART) at 03m43s; 12. Michael Vink (MGH) at 03m43s; 13. Liam Aitcheson (CLM) at 03m46s; 14. Eric Marcotte (KAP) at 03m46s; 15. Joshua Kuysten (CRT) at 03m46s; 16. Regan Gough (ART) at 03m46s; 17. Adam Bull (PMK) at 03m46s; 18. Travis McCabe (KAP) at 03m46s; 19. Fraser Gough (ART) at 03m46s; 20. Logan Griffin (ORF) at 03m46s; 21. Rien Schuurhuis (ORF) at 03m46s; 22. Alex Frame (KAP) at 03m46s; 23. Nick Miller (BSB) at 03m46s; 24. Robert Huisman (PNL) at 04m23s; 25. Alex Heaney (TSR) at 04m23s.
1. Brad Evans (PNL) 19h13m13s; 2. Robbie Hucker (BSB) at 14s; 3. Mike Northey (KAP) at 02m49s; 4. Nick Bain (TSR) at 04m03s; 5. Michael Vink (MGH) at 04m37s; 6. Liam Aitcheson (CLM) at 04m57s; 7. Travis McCabe (KAP) at 06m17s; 8. Nicholas Katsonis (BSB) at 07m03s; 9. Mike Cumming (TCW) at 08m03s; 10. Regan Gough (ART) at 10m47s; 11. Tom Davison (ART) at 10m58s; 12. Robert Huisman (PNL) at 11m55s; 13. Alex Frame (KAP) at 12m48s; 14. Mitchell Lovelock-Fay (ART) at 12m50s; 15. Jake Marryatt (TCW) at 12m59s; 16. Joseph Cooper (ART) at 13m09s; 17. Mathew Zenovich (CSD) at 16m01s; 18. Eric Marcotte (KAP) at 17m43s; 19. Adrian Hegyvary (PNL) at 18m11s; 20. Nick Miller (BSB) at 19m16s; 21. Joshua Kuysten (CRT) at 19m23s; 22. Anthony Chapman (CLM) at 20m07s; 23. Logan Griffin (ORF) at 22m24s; 24. Fraser Gough (ART) at 22m52s; 25. Roman Van Uden (PNL) at 23m40s.
1. Barry Stewart Builders 57h56m55s; 2. Kia Motors-Ascot Park at 15s; 3. Avanti Racing Team at 01m19s; 4. Powernet at 02m35s; 5. Team Skoda Racing at 35m55s; 6. Team Cromwell at 37m20s; 7. Creation Signs L&M Group Ricoh at 43m27s; 8. Olivers Real Food Racing at 45m13s; 9. Champion System Team Dallas at 53m46s; 10. Chesters Racing Team at 1h12m03s.
1. Joe Chapman (CLM) 52; 2. Fraser Gough (ART) 44; 3. Mathew Zenovich (CSD) 37; 4. Roman Van Uden (PNL) 24; 5. Joseph Cooper (ART) 24; 6. Travis McCabe (KAP) 19; 7. Nathan Bunn (CRT) 18; 8. Eric Marcotte (KAP) 13; 9. Frank Sutton (CRT) 13; 10. Robert Huisman (PNL) 11.
King of Mountains
1. Joseph Cooper (ART) 63; 2 Mathew Zenovich (CSD) 33; 3. Nick Miller (BSB) 28; 4. Liam Aitcheson (CLM) 14; 5. Nick Bain (TSR) 14; 6. Brad Evans (PNL) 10; 7. Travis McCabe (KAP) 8; 8. Luke Macpherson (BSB) 8; 9. Joe Chapman (CLM) 7; 10. Frank Sutton (CRT) 6.
Riders face a 13km individual time trial around the Winton circuit, sponsored by Niagara, followed by the 81.2km Stage 7 from Winton to Queen's Park, Invercargill, sponsored by Ascot Park Hotel, Invercargill.