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Atkins wins Tour of Southland

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(Image credit: Pete Bruggeman)
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Mike Olheiser (Jackson Plumbing – Plumbing World) leads the break

Mike Olheiser (Jackson Plumbing – Plumbing World) leads the break (Image credit: Pete Bruggeman)
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A break of five riders led by George Bennett (Kia Motors) has slipped off the front

A break of five riders led by George Bennett (Kia Motors) has slipped off the front (Image credit: Pete Bruggeman)
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Josh Atkins (PowerNet) and the winners trophy

Josh Atkins (PowerNet) and the winners trophy (Image credit: Pete Bruggeman)
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Pure Black Racing win the Teams classification

Pure Black Racing win the Teams classification (Image credit: Pete Bruggeman)
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The winning PowerNet Team

The winning PowerNet Team (Image credit: Pete Bruggeman)
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Josh Atkins receives a hug from the team manager

Josh Atkins receives a hug from the team manager (Image credit: Pete Bruggeman)
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Patrick Bevin (Ascot Park Hotel) wins Stage 8 into Invercargill

Patrick Bevin (Ascot Park Hotel) wins Stage 8 into Invercargill (Image credit: Pete Bruggeman)
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Josh Atkins of PowerNet on his way to winning his first Tour of Southland

Josh Atkins of PowerNet on his way to winning his first Tour of Southland (Image credit: Pete Bruggeman)
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Riders from Pure Black Racing

Riders from Pure Black Racing (Image credit: Pete Bruggeman)
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Clinton Avery (Ascot Park Hotel) leads the peloton

Clinton Avery (Ascot Park Hotel) leads the peloton (Image credit: Pete Bruggeman)
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Sam Horgan (Subway Pro Cycling) is not enjoying the weather conditions

Sam Horgan (Subway Pro Cycling) is not enjoying the weather conditions (Image credit: Pete Bruggeman)
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Chris Macic (Share the Road) and Clinton Avery (Ascot Park Motel) initiate a new move

Chris Macic (Share the Road) and Clinton Avery (Ascot Park Motel) initiate a new move (Image credit: Pete Bruggeman)
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Gordon McCauley (Barry Stewart Builders / Gordonn McCauley Coaching) assists the PowerNet riders

Gordon McCauley (Barry Stewart Builders / Gordonn McCauley Coaching) assists the PowerNet riders (Image credit: Pete Bruggeman)
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(Image credit: Pete Bruggeman)
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Riders from PowerNet ride in defence of the yellow jersey

Riders from PowerNet ride in defence of the yellow jersey (Image credit: Pete Bruggeman)

Christchurch teenager Josh Atkins has etched his name in the history books as the youngest rider to be crowned the 2011 PowerNet Tour of Southland champion.

Atkins and his PowerNet team of young guns Tom Scully, Shane Archbold, Myron Simpson, Alex Frame and Cam Karwowski did a sublime job of controlling the Tour’s final stanza from Winton to Invercargill today, shutting down numerous attempts by nearest rival Pure Black Racing to wrestle the yellow jersey.

“I’m very stoked to pull it off for the team. They rode incredibly,” Atkins said.

“Pure Black’s a professional team overseas and they threw what they had at us. We ride this tour together and that’s all we’ve done together. But we outrode everyone … the guys were on the front the whole day just smashing it.

“I’ve won the tour but I wouldn’t have done it without Shane, Myron, Cam, Alex and Tom Scully. It was all their work that brought me to the line in yellow.”

Atkins, who rides for Lance Armstrong’s Trek-LIVESTRONG outfit internationally, also added the Co-Operative Bank Under-23 jersey and a stage win on the Crown Range to his tally.

He attributed his powerful form to being relaxed.

“I’ve had a blast this week the whole time. After this year I didn’t enjoy riding my bike too often and since I got home from overseas I just took a way more relaxed approach,” he said.

“Throughout the Tour I was just having a good time and each day working towards a small goal and wanting to rip some guys’ legs off on the hill really.”

With hail stones pelting his face as he completed media interviews on the finish line, Atkins not surprisingly didn’t commit to defending his title.

“Last year I said I’d never do it again and I’m saying it again this year but once it’s over you’re hooked on it and you want to come back,” Atkins said.

Today’s stage eight honours went to Ascot Park Hotel’s Patrick Bevan, of Rotorua, who held off a fast-finishing Jason Allen, of Christchurch, and managed to shave Atkins’ overall winning margin to just 57secs in both the overall GC and under-23 ranks.

“It’s just awesome. I’ve had a great week and the Ascot Park boys have been awesome. Clinton’s (Avery) looked after me. He’s the biggest, nicest wind break you could ever have and he’s looked after me all Tour. I’ve barely put a pedal in the wind until it really counted and I’ve made sure each time I’ve have I’ve done the best I could,” Bevan said.

He paid tribute to the impressive exploits of PowerNet’s team of under-23 riders.

“I’m sure they earned a lot of respect from some of the more mature rides who got a lesson in how to ride for a leader.”

Traditionally blamed for any unseasonable weather which strikes in November, this year’s Tour was no exception when a wintery blast forced the cancellation of this morning’s time trial at Winton. With snow blanketing the roads, teams retreated to the sanctuary of their accommodation to await a decision on the final stanza.

It added an agonising three hours to Atkins’ downtime.

“Probably the best way to say it, I was pretty much shitting my pants really. I wasn’t looking forward to it, I was nervous and just real jittery,” he said. “When I woke up, all I could do was laugh when I saw the weather.”

The only change to the original 87km route was the removal of the final three laps of Queens Park, with the race finishing when riders first reached Gala Street, removing 12km off the stage.

Auckland’s Gordon McCauley finished his 19th PowerNet Tour of Southland with the Harcourts Sprint Ace title, while Joe Chapman was a clear winner of the Hydralink-Jesco King of the Mountains.

Pure Black Racing won the teams’ classification.

With the honour of being the first Southlander home, PowerNet’s Scully, of Invercargill, was justifiably proud of his team’s achievement.

“We all put one hundred percent into it today and we really couldn’t be happier with how things went,” he said.

“When we stepped up for the yellow on Wednesday, it wasn’t something we had really thought of but it was always possibly on so we’re really, really happy that Josh could get up for it – it’s a dream come true and it was a huge team effort. Everyone had their part to play.”



#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Patrick Bevin (Ascot Park Hotel)1:38:08
2Joe Chapman (Creation Signs - L&M Group Racing)
3Marc Ryan (Calder Stewart)
4Dion Smith (H&J's Outdoor World-Avanti Plus)
5Kieran Hambrook (Kia Motors)
6Chris Macic (Share The Road)
7Andi Bajc (The Southland Times)
8Tim Gudsell (Pure Black Racing)
9Scott Lyttle (Pure Black Racing)
10Jason Allen (Calder Stewart)
11Sam Horgan (Subway Pro Cycling)
12Alex Meenhorst (Kia Motors)
13Paul Odlin (Subway Pro Cycling)
14Shem Rodger (Pure Black Racing)
15James Mccoy (Henderson Contruction Ltd)0:00:06
16Myron Simpson (PowerNet)
17Josh Atkins (PowerNet)
18Shane Archbold (PowerNet)
19Glen Chadwick (Pure Black Racing)0:00:10
20Tom Scully (PowerNet)0:00:24
21Jeremy Vennell (Calder Stewart)0:00:28
22Clinton Avery (Ascot Park Hotel)0:01:01
23Brad Evans (Olphert Contracting Ltd)0:01:56
24Marc Prutton (The Southland Times)
25Pavel Stuchlik (The Southland Times)
26Alexander Ray (H&J's Outdoor World-Avanti Plus)
27Louis Crosby (Pure Black Racing)
28Lee Johnstone (Southern Institute Of Technology)
29Daniel Barry (Pure Black Racing)
30Danny Pulbrook (Radio Sport)
31Mike Olheiser (Jackson Plumbing-Plumbing World)
32Greg Taylor (Ultimo-HGM)
33Nick Jowsey (Ultimo-HGM)
34Richard Lawson (Ultimo-HGM)
35Aaron Strong (Ascot Park Hotel)
36Karl Murray (Share The Road)
37Matt Wheatcroft (Mico-Protrain Cycling Team)
38Simon Binney (Southern Institute Of Technology)
39Oliver Harding-Sheath (Partners Life-Champion System)
40Jeremy Yates (Share The Road)
41Nick Lovegrove (Subway Pro Cycling)
42Henri Bardoul (Southern Institute Of Technology)0:02:03
43Taylor Gunman (H&J's Outdoor World-Avanti Plus)
44Justin Stott (Radio Sport)
45Ryan Obst (Radio Sport)
46Mark Langlands (H&J's Outdoor World-Avanti Plus)
47Tim Rush (Olphert Contracting Ltd)
48Justin Kerr (Share The Road)
49Peter Latham (Subway Pro Cycling)
50Cameron Karwowski (PowerNet)
51Aaron Gate (Creation Signs - L&M Group Racing)
52Jeremy Inglis (Olphert Contracting Ltd)
53Gordon Mccauley (Barry Stewart Builders-Gordon McCauley Coaching)
54Jason Christie (Calder Stewart)
55Joshua Aldridge (The Southland Times)
56Sam Steele (Creation Signs - L&M Group Racing)
57Brendan Sharratt (Creation Signs - L&M Group Racing)0:02:09
58Alex Mcgregor (The Southland Times)0:02:11
59Peter Murphy (Radio Sport)0:02:17
60Tom Francis (Creation Signs - L&M Group Racing)0:02:22
61Scott Thomas (H&J's Outdoor World-Avanti Plus)0:02:30
62George Bennett (Kia Motors)
63Patrick Jones (Barry Stewart Builders-Gordon McCauley Coaching)
64Alex Frame (PowerNet)0:04:08
65Eric Drower (Partners Life-Champion System)0:05:12
66Joseph Cooper (Mico-Protrain Cycling Team)
67Fraser Gough (H&J's Outdoor World-Avanti Plus)0:06:16
68Tom Hubbard (Henderson Contruction Ltd)
69Joseph Lewis (Kia Motors)
70Kane Walker (Jackson Plumbing-Plumbing World)
71Richard Rollinson (Ultimo-HGM)0:08:06
72Sheldon Gorter (Partners Life-Champion System)0:13:16
73Travis Kane (Olphert Contracting Ltd)0:16:05
74Hamish Wright (Barry Stewart Builders-Gordon McCauley Coaching)0:16:26
75Steve Wright (Southern Institute Of Technology)
76Aidan Mckenzie (Partners Life-Champion System)
77Tim Carswell (Barry Stewart Builders-Gordon McCauley Coaching)
78Dillon Bennett (Partners Life-Champion System)
79Daniel Molyneux (Ultimo-HGM)
80Eric Lau (Jackson Plumbing-Plumbing World)
81Gary Carleton (Southern Institute Of Technology)
82Johnathon Atkinson (Olphert Contracting Ltd)
83Tom David (Share The Road)0:16:46
84Aaron Schneider (Ultimo-HGM)0:18:45
DNSWestley Gough (Subway Pro Cycling)
DNSJames Early (Henderson Contruction Ltd)

General classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Josh Atkins (PowerNet)21:16:39
2Patrick Bevin (Ascot Park Hotel)0:00:57
3Tim Gudsell (Pure Black Racing)0:00:59
4Chris Macic (Share The Road)0:01:13
5Shem Rodger (Pure Black Racing)0:02:29
6Scott Lyttle (Pure Black Racing)0:02:52
7Andi Bajc (The Southland Times)0:03:00
8Marc Ryan (Calder Stewart)0:03:37
9Paul Odlin (Subway Pro Cycling)0:03:57
10Dion Smith (H&J's Outdoor World-Avanti Plus)0:04:53
11Jeremy Yates (Share The Road)0:04:59
12Mike Olheiser (Jackson Plumbing-Plumbing World)0:05:52
13Clinton Avery (Ascot Park Hotel)0:06:32
14Tom Scully (PowerNet)0:06:52
15Danny Pulbrook (Radio Sport)0:08:01
16Joseph Cooper (Mico-Protrain Cycling Team)0:10:34
17Glen Chadwick (Pure Black Racing)0:11:51
18Greg Taylor (Ultimo-HGM)0:12:05
19Alexander Ray (H&J's Outdoor World-Avanti Plus)0:12:32
20Sam Horgan (Subway Pro Cycling)0:14:46
21Shane Archbold (PowerNet)0:16:30
22Gordon Mccauley (Barry Stewart Builders-Gordon McCauley Coaching)0:17:59
23Brad Evans (Olphert Contracting Ltd)0:19:19
24Jason Allen (Calder Stewart)0:21:21
25Daniel Barry (Pure Black Racing)0:21:25
26Jeremy Vennell (Calder Stewart)0:22:43
27Myron Simpson (PowerNet)0:23:40
28Joseph Lewis (Kia Motors)0:24:25
29George Bennett (Kia Motors)0:26:05
30Taylor Gunman (H&J's Outdoor World-Avanti Plus)0:26:45
31Alex Frame (PowerNet)0:27:21
32Nick Lovegrove (Subway Pro Cycling)0:28:06
33Nick Jowsey (Ultimo-HGM)0:29:14
34Peter Latham (Subway Pro Cycling)0:29:19
35Simon Binney (Southern Institute Of Technology)0:29:51
36Ryan Obst (Radio Sport)0:31:52
37Kieran Hambrook (Kia Motors)0:34:35
38Henri Bardoul (Southern Institute Of Technology)0:36:08
39Mark Langlands (H&J's Outdoor World-Avanti Plus)0:36:22
40Fraser Gough (H&J's Outdoor World-Avanti Plus)0:36:54
41Aaron Gate (Creation Signs - L&M Group Racing)0:38:48
42Alex Meenhorst (Kia Motors)0:38:51
43Karl Murray (Share The Road)0:42:13
44Alex Mcgregor (The Southland Times)0:42:28
45Eric Drower (Partners Life-Champion System)0:43:23
46Cameron Karwowski (PowerNet)0:44:58
47Joe Chapman (Creation Signs - L&M Group Racing)0:45:08
48Tim Rush (Olphert Contracting Ltd)0:47:05
49Louis Crosby (Pure Black Racing)0:47:14
50Aaron Strong (Ascot Park Hotel)0:49:25
51James Mccoy (Henderson Contruction Ltd)0:54:18
52Patrick Jones (Barry Stewart Builders-Gordon McCauley Coaching)0:54:56
53Daniel Molyneux (Ultimo-HGM)0:54:59
54Sam Steele (Creation Signs - L&M Group Racing)0:55:42
55Justin Kerr (Share The Road)0:57:13
56Jason Christie (Calder Stewart)1:02:07
57Oliver Harding-Sheath (Partners Life-Champion System)1:03:15
58Tom Hubbard (Henderson Contruction Ltd)1:05:35
59Richard Rollinson (Ultimo-HGM)1:08:56
60Scott Thomas (H&J's Outdoor World-Avanti Plus)1:14:57
61Kane Walker (Jackson Plumbing-Plumbing World)1:18:44
62Lee Johnstone (Southern Institute Of Technology)1:19:44
63Pavel Stuchlik (The Southland Times)1:20:08
64Tom David (Share The Road)1:20:25
65Peter Murphy (Radio Sport)1:20:50
66Joshua Aldridge (The Southland Times)1:21:56
67Brendan Sharratt (Creation Signs - L&M Group Racing)1:25:07
68Gary Carleton (Southern Institute Of Technology)1:28:10
69Eric Lau (Jackson Plumbing-Plumbing World)1:31:36
70Matt Wheatcroft (Mico-Protrain Cycling Team)1:33:38
71Justin Stott (Radio Sport)1:39:17
72Jeremy Inglis (Olphert Contracting Ltd)1:39:36
73Sheldon Gorter (Partners Life-Champion System)1:41:18
74Tom Francis (Creation Signs - L&M Group Racing)1:41:55
75Richard Lawson (Ultimo-HGM)1:42:43
76Aidan Mckenzie (Partners Life-Champion System)1:45:45
77Tim Carswell (Barry Stewart Builders-Gordon McCauley Coaching)1:46:02
78Marc Prutton (The Southland Times)1:47:08
79Steve Wright (Southern Institute Of Technology)1:48:40
80Dillon Bennett (Partners Life-Champion System)2:03:35
81Johnathon Atkinson (Olphert Contracting Ltd)2:13:58
82Hamish Wright (Barry Stewart Builders-Gordon McCauley Coaching)2:14:14
83Travis Kane (Olphert Contracting Ltd)2:42:32
84Aaron Schneider (Ultimo-HGM)2:56:25

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