Jones takes stage five in Tour
United States rider Carter Jones has taken over the lead in the Tour of Southland with victory in today's fifth stage from Te Anau to the Crown Range lookout.
The Bissell Pro Cycling rider provisionally leads by about half a minute from Mike Northey (Node4-Subaru) after outclimbing him up the Crown Range at the end of the 180km stage.
Jones is based in Boulder, but comes from storm-ravaged New Jersey and said his family would probably be unaware of his victory today with no electricity or internet.
Earlier in the day, a nine-strong breakaway managed to get out to a lead of more than 4min, but with Central Otago rider James Williamson, from PureBlack Racing, again emerging as a threat, the big teams looked to shut it down in the final 30km of the stage.
Calder Stewart's Hayden Roulston looked to attack at the end of the stage, but his chances were hurt when he suffered a puncture.
The stage began in persistent rain in Te Anau, but finished in bright sunshine near Arrowtown.
The only bad news for Bissell Pro Cycling today was the loss of double stage winner Paddy Bevin who had to withdraw due to illness.
Elsewhere, the other jersies in the tour remain the same, with Joe Chapman leading the King of the Mountain standings, Taylor Gunman still the leading under 23 rider and Sam Witmitz ahead in the sprint classification.
Tomorrow features another demanding stage, 167km from Invercargill to Gore.Follow our Twitter feed for updates as the today's race unfolds.
The Southland Times