4/11/2020 - Hometown hero Reuben Thompson has climbed his way into the lead at the midway point of the 2020 SBS Bank Tour of Southland after a devastating attack on the new Remarkables climb.
The 19-year-old Queenstown native left the peloton in his wake on the 6km power climb up the Remarkables ski field access road at the end of a 109km stage from Mossburn, taking a 23sec into tomorrow’s iconic fourth stage from Invercargill to Bluff.
The Vet4Farm rider, who returned from racing in Europe and only completed quarantine a day before this year’s tour, headed home PowerNet’s Ollie Jones, with defending champion Michael Vink (Transport Engineering-Talleys) in third place.
“I know every part of this road like the back of my hand and it worked out well. I had a plan to attack over the last steep bit to pull out an advantage and that last kilometre was pretty tough,” Thompson said.
Thompson recently signed with leading UCI World Tour team Groupama-FDJ Continental, his Southland tour preparation consisting of sitting on a trainer in his Auckland hotel room while he sat out a two-week isolation period after returning from Europe.
Winning in his own backyard in front of friends and family, on a climb he holds the Strava record for, was a great result for the talented former triathlete.
“It’s super special. I’ve been training on this road ever since I can remember. This tour used to pass my primary school when I was a kid and they gave me a jersey one year and that’s kind of what got me into cycling. To come back and race this tour and win a stage is super special.”
Paul Wright (Creation Signs-MITOQ) again featured early and took out the Jollies hill climb to strengthen his hold on the King of the Mountain jersey.
A three-man breakaway of James Williamson (Creation Signs-MITOQ), Liam Cappel (Couplands Bakeries) and Josh Page (RushVelo Ridley) had built a two-and-a-half minute advantage by Kingston after a series of attacks earlier in the stage.
They were swallowed up as the peloton approached the intimidating walk of rock which is the Remarkables mountain range, before Thompson took the opportunity to display his climbing talent on a familiar stage.
He leads second-placed James Oram (Black Spoke) by 23sec overall, with Ollie Jones (PowerNet) at 24sec, and Corbin Strong (PowerNet) and Vink both at 25sec.
Thompson is also the race’s leading under 23 rider, while Strong claimed the John Vercoe memorial trophy as the fastest Southlander on the climb.
Black Spoke’s Aaron Gate, who started the stage in yellow, struggled in the latter part of the climb to drop to sixth place overall, 55sec in arrears.
Matt Zenovich (Vet4Farm) continues to lead the Sprint Ace classification, while Glenn Haden (Couplands Bakeries) is the race’s leading over 35 rider and Black Spoke are building an advantage in the team classification.
Tomorrow’s fourth stage features another hilltop finish, this time at the end of a 157km journey atop Bluff Hill.
The 64th edition of the SBS Bank Tour of Southland includes seven stages and finishes in Invercargill on Saturday, November 7.
Photo credit: James Jubb/Studio Jubb
1. Reuben Thompson (VFF) 2h47m27s; 2. Ollie Jones (PNL) at 28s; 3. Michael Vink (TET) at 33s; 4. Corbin Strong (PNL) at 33s; 5. James Oram (BSP) at 40s; 6. Aaron Gate (BSP) at 01m18s; 7. Jake Marryatt (RVR) at 01m20s; 8. Kees Duyvesteyn (MEN) at 01m24s; 9. Luke Mudgway (BSP) at 01m28s; 10. Barnaby Clegg-Shaw (RJS) at 01m45s; 11. Laurence Pithie (CCA) at 02m16s; 12. Ben Oliver (CBW) at 02m19s; 13. Jack Drage (CBW) at 02m19s; 14. Campbell Pithie (CCA) at 02m33s; 15. Logan Currie (TET) at 02m35s; 16. Mark Stewart (VFF) at 03m02s; 17. Ari Scott (RJS) at 03m02s; 18. Alex Heaney (PNL) at 03m04s; 19. Theo Gilbertson (CSM) at 03m12s; 20. Sam Medlicott (BMN) at 03m25s; 21. Glenn Haden (CPB) at 03m25s; 22. Joel Yates (BSR) at 04m01s; 23. Tom Sexton (BSS) at 04m08s; 24. Cathal Guiney (BMN) at 04m24s; 25. Hamish Sadler (MEN) at 04m31s;
1. Reuben Thompson (VFF) 9h47m35s; 2. James Oram (BSP) at 23s; 3. Ollie Jones (PNL) at 24s; 4. Corbin Strong (PNL) at 25s; 5. Michael Vink (TET) at 25s; 6. Aaron Gate (BSP) at 55s; 7. Luke Mudgway (BSP) at 01m28s; 8. Jake Marryatt (RVR) at 01m40s; 9. Kees Duyvesteyn (MEN) at 01m42s; 10. Barnaby Clegg-Shaw (RJS) at 02m02s; 11. Ben Oliver (CBW) at 02m24s; 12. Laurence Pithie (CCA) at 02m29s; 13. Logan Currie (TET) at 02m31s; 14. Alex Heaney (PNL) at 03m06s; 15. Jack Drage (CBW) at 03m10s; 16. Mark Stewart (VFF) at 03m12s; 17. Ari Scott (RJS) at 03m19s; 18. Glenn Haden (CPB) at 03m23s; 19. Campbell Pithie (CCA) at 03m26s; 20. Tom Sexton (BSS) at 03m54s; 21. Theo Gilbertson (CSM) at 03m57s; 22. Joel Yates (BSR) at 03m59s; 23. Sam Medlicott (BMN) at 04m26s; 24. Campbell Stewart (BSR) at 04m53s; 25. Keegan Hornblow (BSS) at 04m53s;
1. Black Spoke Pro Cycling Academy 29h25m44s; 2. Powernet at 01m12s; 3. Vet4Farm at 05m55s; 4. Transport Engineering – Talleys at 06m03s; 5. Real Journeys at 10m06s; 6. Central Benchmakers – Willbike at 10m58s; 7. Meridian Energy at 11m30s; 8. Business South at 11m36s; 9. Base Solutions Racing at 12m39s; 10. Coupland’s Bakeries at 15m50s;
1. Matthew Zenovich (VFF) 29; 2. Jordan Kerby (BSR) 18; 3. James Fouche (CSM) 16; 4. Paul Odlin (PNL) 12; 5. Dylan Kennett (TET) 10; 6. Paul Wright (CSM) 10; 7. Liam Cappel (CPB) 6; 8. George Jackson (CSM) 5; 9. Ollie Jones (PNL) 4; 10. Joshua Page (RVR) 4;
King of Mountains
1. Paul Wright (CSM) 37; 2. Reuben Thompson (VFF) 10; 3. Ollie Jones (PNL) 8; 4. Aaron Gate (BSP) 6; 5. James Williamson (CSM) 6; 6. Matthew Zenovich (VFF) 6; 7. Ben Oliver (CBW) 6; 8. Dylan Kennett (TET) 6; 9. Jack Drage (CBW) 5; 10. Keegan Hornblow (BSS) 5;
Riders face Invercargill to Bluff