By Susan Westemeyer
Suzanne de Goede of Equipe Nürnberger has won the first stage of the Tour of New Zealand in a photo-finish over Team High Road's Oenone Wood. Joanne Kiesanowski of Team Cervelo was third.
The Dutch rider won the sprint out of a 10-rider strong escape group which held on to a 47-second advantage at the finish of the 35-kilometre stage between Avalon and Lower Hutt.
"The knot is broken," said Jens Zemke, the team's directeur sportif. "We are very happy with this first win in the new road season. That gives us extra motivation for the more difficult upcoming stages."