Tour of Southland
Olympic cyclist Shane Archbold has finished the Tour of Southland about half a kilo lighter than when he started it - and it has had little to do with the racing.
Archbold, who spent the week racing in PowerNet colours, might not have crossed the line first on the final day on Saturday, but he was certainly the centre of attention as his trademark mullet was cut off in front of a large crowd.
In the process a campaign to raise money for the Child Cancer Foundation - which adopted Archbold's nickname, The Flying Mullet - netted more than $11,500.
"I was stoked when we reached the $10,000 mark and I think we're going to leave it open a while longer so hopefully it will fetch a bit more," Archbold said after going through with a ‘number one' post-tour haircut.
"I have to say a massive thanks to PowerNet for organising it all. I only had to finish the tour and have a haircut."
Archbold was motivated to support the Child Cancer Foundation through his association with cancer survivor Tim Leonard, 15, who hails from his home town in Timaru.
Tim and his father, Mark, who are involved in cycling in Timaru, came south for the final two days of the tour and said they were very impressed with Archbold's new look and his support of the Child Cancer Foundation.
"It was fantastic," Mark said.
"We didn't expect it to reach $10,000 so quickly, but it has just been great."
After four years of growing his lengthy locks, many took great pleasure in assisting with the removal of the distinctive mullet, including PowerNet's Lyn Daly and Kathryn McCoy, who instigated and managed the campaign.
"After 12 years of supporting the tour as a naming rights sponsor, we thought this would be a memorable way to sign off from that," PowerNet chief executive Jason Franklin said.
"This has been a collaborative approach between Shane, our staff and Cycling Southland and a rewarding way to end our 12-year partnership with the Cycling Southland organisation."
"Shane is a personable young man that we were happy to assist and he was very willing to support the Child Cancer Foundation right from the start," Daly said.
"We would like to thank the media and the PowerNet tour community for entering into the spirit of the campaign and helping us raise the profile of the appeal."
McCoy said the support The Flying Mullet campaign had received had been outstanding.
"We have been blown away by the level of support the campaign received," she said.
"We have had some huge donations, including $1000 from Cory's Electrical, one of PowerNet's key suppliers, and it is people and organisations like that that have made it so successful."
Archbold's PowerNet team-mates, including Myron Simpson and Cam Karwowski, also enjoyed the haircut and both had time to play their part with the clippers.
The other PowerNet riders, Tom Scully, Heath Blackgrove and Ryan Wills, were more than happy to watch, amused. Donations in support of the campaign can still be made online at: fundraiseonline.co.nz/ShaneArchbold-TheFlyingMullet
- The Southland Times