Young pair's local knowledge paid off
Southland riders were able to play a key role in Josh Atkins' Tour of Southland victory on Saturday.
Cromwell's Tom Scully and Cameron Karwowski, who originally hails from Blenheim but now bases his riding out of Invercargill, were among PowerNet's all under-23 team, along with 18-year-old Alex Frame, Myron Simpson and world championship omnium silver medallist Shane Archbold.
For Scully, who finished 14th overall, being the leading local in the race was an achievement he was proud of.
"It's great," he said.
"It's something I had in the back of the mind going through the week."
Local knowledge had played an important part in defending the yellow jersey, he said.
"It was pretty tough, it was pretty tense at times. We had a fair bit of direction from Shane Archbold, our director on the road, on what we should be doing. Coming into the local training roads I just knew each corner, knew where it was going to be cross winds and it just made it a wee bit easier for me to be doing everything I could for him."
A Southlander last won the tour in 1994 when Doug Bath took out the race in the final year of "individual" racing.
Since then Jeremy Robinson has finished third overall in 2001 and John Alabaster won a stage in the 2003 race.
Karwowski, who has won a world title at junior level on the track and represented New Zealand on the road, said the past week made the many lonely hours of training on Southland roads worthwhile.
"Sometimes I just imagine being in the front of a race like that but to be actually doing it was a great surprise for me and all the team. I'm really proud of how we rode and defended the yellow," he said on Saturday.
"Today I was electric. My legs were just flying. Some of the boys might have been feeling the third day on the front, where I was suffering the first two days doing all I could. I'm just so proud, I can't describe it.
"We are just ecstatic at the moment. I'm really stoked to be part of this team. It's going to make training on all those roads easier now because I'll just think back and remember the good times. It's going to make me really motivated for next year and the years to come."
- © Fairfax NZ News