New Zealand road champion Gordon McCauley (Subway-Avanti) believes overall victory at the Tour of Southland is an option, following a successful day in the saddle. McCauley not only claimed victory on stage five, but he maximized the blustery conditions to move within a minute of the overall race lead.
McCauley, runner-up in the Tour last year, said tomorrow’s climb up to the top of the Crown Range is the key to going one better at this year’s race. Jeremy Vennell (Bissell Pro Cycling) narrowly lost the race lead to Jack Bauer (Share The Road) on today’s second stage.
“Jack Bauer is riding so well on the flat and up the hills,” said McCauley. “But he and his team will get attacks from four or five different teams tomorrow. It will be like a machine gun going off at him as we all have a go. I’m just going to keep attacking.”
McCauley’s move into the top five overall comes as a welcome turn of events for his Subway-Avanti squad. The team was a big casualty on the opening day’s pile up, but with the wounds healed and a potential general classification victory on the horizon, the team’s outlook has improved vastly.
“The tour didn’t start well for us with four of us crashing on that first day and finishing with sore bodies and bikes held together with hose clips,” McCauley said. “Today was great for our Subway Avanti team with Josh second in the morning and then my win today, which was set-up really well by Jo Cooper. My teammates were fantastic today.
With four stages remaining just 56 seconds separates the top five on general classification, led by Bauer, Marc Ryan (Colourplus), Vennell, Heath Blackgrove (Zookeepers - Cycle Surgery) and Mccauley. Floyd Landis, who was brought in from the United States of America to fill a void in Cyclingnzshop.com - Bio Sport’s team, is 11:18 minutes behind on general classification in 36th place, having dropped more than eight minute on this afternoon’s stage.
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