You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Roe battles wild weather for Classic win

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 22/01/2017

Wild winds and a wall of water couldn't stop Australian rider Tim Roe from winning the opening stage of the New Zealand Cycle Classic in the Wairarapa.

The 27-year-old finished the hilly 121km stage from Masterton to the coastal community of Castlepoint in two hours 57 minutes 21 seconds, edging Kiwi riders Alex Frame (JLT Condor) and Brad Evans (NZ national team).

A wild weather system battered the peloton with cross winds after the 50km mark, and a downpour drowned spectators, race officials and riders at the finish in front of the Castlepoint lighthouse.

"It was really tough, it was hard racing ... every team was attacking," said Roe, racing for the IsoWhey Sports Swiss Wellness Australia team.

"I can't remember the last time I rode in conditions like that... it was hard core."

With five kilometres remaining, a group of 13 made attack after attack before being pounded by torrential rain and high winds.

The bunch stayed together until the final hill when Roe made his move and maintained the lead down the steep descent into Castlepoint.

National road cycling champion Joe Cooper was five seconds behind Roe, while Olympic rowing gold medallist Hamish Bond finished 43 seconds behind the winner despite coming off his bike in the early stages.

Triple Olympic gold medallist Ed Clancy, who is taking a year away from his British track commitments to concentrate purely on the road, finished 1:31 behind Roe.

Stage two of the five-stage tour takes in a challenging 147km route from Masterton towards Riversdale then through Wainuioru via the Limeworks and Te Wharau Hill before finishing atop Admiral Hill in Gladstone.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon