Christchurch rider primed to win Tour de Lakes

LOGAN SAVORY
Last updated 05:00 21/04/2014

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Christchurch rider Daniel Barry has a hold on the yellow jersey heading into the final day in the annual Tour de Lakes A-grade cycle race.

Barry, who won the tour in 2012, has impressed during the first three days of the four-day Vital Signs-sponsored tour.

Tour director Allan Dunn said Barry had looked strong and was in a prime position to again win the event, which is held in parts of Northern Southland and Central Otago.

"He's going real well. He's come into his own today really, and he's looking real comfortable."

The tour started in dramatic fashion on Friday in the prologue individual 5km time trial in Cromwell.

Brad Evans and Alex McGregor dead-heated for first place, with a time of 6min 13sec.

Evans was handed the yellow jersey simply because he was first to record the time but held it outright after stage one, which was an 80km ride from Bannockburn to Cromwell on Saturday morning.

Barry won that stage and then, by the end of stage two, on Saturday, which was 80km from Five Rivers to Manapouri, the Christchurch rider had hold of the yellow jersey for the first time despite Invercargill rider Luke McPherson winning that stage.

Evans won stage three, a 20km time trial in Te Anau, yesterday morning.

While Barry was 17sec down on Evans' time in Te Anau, that yellow jersey remained in his possession.

It also never left him at the end of stage four yesterday, from Te Anau to Five Rivers, and was won by Liam Aitcheson.

It has all set up an intriguing final day, which will include two tough stages.

The first will be a 45km ride from Queenstown to Glenorchy, where the James Faulding Memorial Trophy will be up for grabs.

Faulding was a promising cyclist who road the Tour de Lakes race before he was tragically killed when hit by a car while out riding his bike in 2001.

The first winner of the trophy, in 2002, was Matt Randell, who was a good friend of Faulding.

The 2014 Tour de Lakes will wrap up with a 42km stage from Glenorchy to Moke Lake today.

"Who knows what [today] is going to bring? It's another whole day and we just don't know what is going to happen. It is going to be an exciting finish I'd say," Dunn said.

Evans will head into the final day with the sprint ace jersey and Liam Aitcheson has the king of the mountains jersey.

In the B grade, Glen Gould, of South Canterbury, is the tour leader, while the sprint ace is Gary Smith and the king of the mountains is a tie between Blake Tait-Jones and Michael White, who is the sponsor of the tour.

In the C grade, Aaron Sinclair has the yellow jersey, with Alistair Burnett the king of the mountains leader and Lee Farrell the sprint ace.

It is a Sophie Williamson benefit in the women's race, with Williamson holding the tour leader's jersey, the king of the mountain jersey and the sprint ace jersey.

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- The Southland Times

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