27/05/2011 - There have been several course changes made to this year’s PowerNet Tour of Southland, in what Tour Manager Bruce Ross said is to refresh the event and to avoid familiarity among those competing.
“The previous course used had been in place for three years and we felt it was an appropriate time to make some necessary changes. It has always been the Tour’s philosophy to take this iconic event to as much of the Southland region as possible and give our residents an opportunity to see what is regarded as the showcase of New Zealand cycling, up close and personal”, Ross said.
Length of stages and places within the region that have the facilities to accommodate the Tour, determine the route and with the Tour being such an important promotion and window of opportunity for Southland, it is imperative that the event involves the communities throughout the region.
This year’s course features the introduction of new stages and the reshuffle of previously used stages in what Ross predicts will provide a stern challenge for all involved. The introduction of the Te Anau to Crown Range stage will certainly be a highlight with the 180km section likely to be a defining stage to the event’s overall outcome.
The Tour commences with a short prologue team’s time trial on Sunday afternoon around Invercargill’s Queens Park which will give the public an opportunity to see the teams in action plus establishing a Tour leader for the six days of racing proper which will commence on Monday 31st October and conclude back in Invercargill on Saturday 5th November.
Several of the traditional sections of the Tour have been retained, including the notorious Bluff Hill, the demanding Blackmount section through to Te Anau and the Eastern Southland stage finish into Gore, but the route taken to these destinations has been altered.
The introduction of a 13km individual time trial as the penultimate stage at Winton will certainly add a new dimension to the Tour. This is in line with other major Tours throughout the world and is designed to assist in keeping the Tour result alive until the end as events have been often won and lost on such a stage.
Ross believes overall that the new Tour route is challenging with the emphasis on introducing single stage days wherever possible. It is also a challenge to the Tour organisers to attempt to retain the traditions of the Tour and at the same time, respect the intentions of the events’ forefathers who introduced the Tour 55 years ago, when establishing a cycling event for the people of Southland to enjoy.
Teams Time Trial - 4.2kms
Sunday 30th October 2011
Queens Park, Invercargill
Monday 31st October 2011 - 160kms
Invercargill – Lumsden
Starts Town Hall, Tay Street, Invercargill at 10.00am
Invercargill, Wallacetown, Wrights Bush, Thornbury, Otautau, Orawia, Ohai, Nightcaps, Mossburn, Lumsden
Finishes at the Southland District Council, Diana Street, Lumsden at approximately 2.00pm
Tuesday 1st November 2011 - 138kms
Invercargill – Bluff
Starts ILT Velodrome, Invercargill at 10.00am
Invercargill, Makarewa, Lochiel, Winton, Oreti, Drummond, Waianiwa, Wallacetown, Otatara, Bluff
Finishes at the top of Bluff Hill at approximately 1.30pm
Wednesday 2nd November 2011 - 48kms
Riverton – Tuatapere
Starts Palmerston Street, Riverton at 10.00am
Riverton, Colac Bay, Orepuki, Tuatapere
Finishes at the Waiau Hotel, Tuatapere at approximately 11.30am
Wednesday 2nd November 2011- 100kms
Tuatapere – Te Anau
Starts Main Street, Tuatapere at 1.00pm
Clifden, Blackmount, Manapouri, Te Anau
Finishes in the Town Centre, Te Anau at approximately 3.30pm
Thursday 3rd November 2011 - 179kms
Te Anau – Crown Range
Starts at Te Anau Community Centre, Luxmore Drive, Te Anau at 10.00am
Te Anau, Mossburn, Five Rivers, Athol, Garston, Kingston, Frankton,
Finishing at the Lookout Point, Crown Range at approximately 2.45pm
Friday 4th November 2011 - 167kms
Invercargill – Gore
Starts at the ILT Velodrome, Invercargill at 10.00am
Invercargill, Rimu, Woodlands, Seaward Downs, Edendale, Wyndham, Mataura, Waimumu, West Gore, Croydon, Hokonui Drive, East Gore, Knapdale, Otama, Riversdale, Mandeville, Gore
Finishing on Hokonui Drive, Gore at approximately 2.30pm
Saturday 5th November 2011 - 12.8kms
Winton Individual Time Trial
Starts and finishes opposite the Winton Hotel, Main Street, Winton at 10.00am
Saturday 5th November 2011 - 83kms
Winton - Invercargill
Starts at the Central Southland Lodge, Main Street, Winton at 1.30pm
Winton, Centre Bush, Otapiri, Browns, Spring Hills, Grove Bush, Myross Bush, Invercargill
Finishing in Gala Street, Invercargill at approximately 3.30pm