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Bewley aiming for Southland stage victory

Sam Bewley & Jesse Sergent were on New Zealand's medal-winning Olympic Games team

Sam Bewley & Jesse Sergent were on New Zealand's medal-winning Olympic Games team (Image credit: Tour of Japan)

Sam Bewley believes he is in better shape than last year’s Tour of Southland but does not consider himself as a candidate for general classification honours for this year’s 53rd edition. His goal is to support fellow Olympian Glen Chadwick and Heath Blackgrove.

The 22-year-old, who will join Lance Armstrong’s new Radio Shack ProTour team in the New Year, is a key member of the Zookeepers squad. A record 25 teams lined-up for the six-day tour which started with a prologue in Invercargill this morning.

“Both Heath and Glen are in great shape and will be really strong this year. So my job is to help them and look after them,” Bewley said. “Of course I’d love to win a stage this year and I will be giving it everything.”

Bewley, who was part of the medal winning team pursuit at the Beijing Olympic Games last year, says he’s motivated to ride well, despite a long season.

“I had eight days off after the world championships but aside from that I have pretty much ridden through,” said Bewley. “I don’t feel jaded at all though. I am naturally excited and motivated about next year.

“I am not in my best shape right now but I am ok. I will definitely be looking for the opportunity to get a stage win if I can,” he added. “The conditions are the key. It is likely to blow pretty hard and it can create opportunities for a breakaway. I will need to be attentive to those opportunities to get away in a small break. That will be my best chance.”

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