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US rider gets Southland tour yellow jersey

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 30/10/2016

American cyclist Travis McCabe has claimed the yellow jersey with a third-place finish on day two of the Tour of Southland.

The Kia Motors-Ascot Park Hotel rider jumped to the top of the general classification on Monday, having lost the yellow jersey on appeal after the team time trial the previous day.

Stage honours after the 170km leg from Invercargill to Lumsden went to Ayden Toovey from the all-Australian Tineli Performance Bikewear team, with Southland's Matt Zenovich (PowerNet) second.

McCabe had to hand over the yellow jersey to New Zealand Olympian Regan Gough after losing his appeal.

He and his team are now looking to position themselves for the challenges ahead.

"We'll approach each day as a one-day race," he said.

"Fortunately, we have Taylor Gunman in contention. He's our GC guy for the week so we'll be riding for him and trying to keep it all together."

McCabe leads the tour by 4sec from Toovey, who is the race's leading under 23 rider.

It was a good day for the Tineli team, with Liam Magennis and Sam Cox prominent in a six-man break.

The leaders opened out a gap of more than four minutes at one point, but they were shut down after Nightcaps as the peloton braced itself for an assault on the finish line.

Toovey, who is coming off a second-place finish in the prestigious Melbourne to Warrnambool Cycling Classic, said he was lucky to make it into the front group.

"From there it was just a slog-fest to the finish," he said.

"I backed myself in a sprint, but there was a few guys going and a few guys who were hesitant."

Day three takes the riders from Riverton to Te Anau on a 150km route that includes the imposing Blackmount hill climb.

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