Taylor Gunman singing in the rain as he wins NZ Cycle Classic

RACE WINNER: Taylor Gunman has won the NZ Cycle Classic.
Fairfax NZ

RACE WINNER: Taylor Gunman has won the NZ Cycle Classic.

North Harbour pro Taylor Gunman held firm in the rain to win the NZ Cycle Classic in Palmerston North today.

After taking the yellow jersey in Feilding on Friday, Gunman today survived a crash in which a group of 10 riders went down on the Pahiatua Track.

With his Avanti Cycling team looking after him, Gunman won the tour by six seconds from team-mate Jason Christie (Ashburton) who trailed by one second going in to the final 164.2 km stage from Manawatu to Pahiatua and back.    

Avanti had the team title wrapped up yet again but this time with two days to spare. The rest of the quintet, all New Zealanders,  were national champion Joseph Cooper - who won the prologue time trial - Tom Davidson, Christie and time-trial runnerup Fraser Gough.

"Our team rode out of their skins today," Gunman said. "It was genuine teamwork this week.

"This was the first time for me to win a UCI tour and one of my biggest accomplishments."

The stage in to Palmerston North was won by Australian Joshua Prete riding for the Budget Forklifts team who outsprinted New Zealand National Team rider James Oram in the uphill finish. In third was Kiwi Nick Bain of the Nature Valley Avanti team.

New Zealand rider Mike Northey and Data#3 Symantec's Scott Thomas (Australia) did the donkeywork on the wet, mountainous stage. They were out in front for 115km and were only hauled in when ascending the Pahiatua Track from Wairarapa.

Australian pro Rhys Gillett (Team Scoby Downunder) held the king-of-the-mountains polka dot jersey throughout the tour while the sprint ace winner was fellow Aussie Craig Evers (Data#3 Symantec).

New Zealand team rider Dion Smith won the under-23 title after wearing the white jersey through all the road stages.

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Final results from  the NZCT New Zealand Cycle Classic.

Stage 4, Palmerston North to Wairarapa and return: 1. Joshua Prete (AUS) (BFL) 4h11m45s; 2. James Oram (NZL) at 01s; 3. Nick Bain (NVA) at 16s; 4. Jack Anderson (AUS) (BFL) at 16s; 5. Cameron Ivory (AUS) (GPM) at 16s; 6. Dion Smith (NZL) at 16s; 7. Daniel Barry (BFL) at 16s; 8. Taylor Gunman (ART) at 16s; 9. Ryan Christensen (BMT) at 16s; 10.

Overall standings: 1. Taylor Gunman (ART) 14h23m26s; 2. Jason Christie (ART) at 06s; 3. Dion Smith (NZL) at 01m17s; 4. Josh Berry (AUS) (BFL) at 01m40s; 5. Tom Davison (ART) at 03m02s; 6. Morgan Smith (TSA) at 04m44s; 7. Andy Hagan (NVA) at 05m10s; 8. James Oram (NZL) at 05m14s; 9. Daniel Barry (BFL) at 05m20s; 10. Jack Anderson (AUS) (BFL) at 06m21s; 11. Mike Northey (NZL) at 07m57s; 12. Joshua Aldridge (MER) at 09m05s; 13. Roman Van Uden (NZL) at 09m22s; 14. Daniel Molyneux (TSA) at 10m19s; 15. Jake Marryatt (MER) at 11m03s; 16. Richard Lawson (TSA) at 11m25s.

Team Overall: 1. Avanti RT 43h13m06s; 2. NZL at 07m08s; 3. Budget Forklifts at 08m09s; 4. TSA at 18m39s; 5. MER at 29m28s; 6. NVA at 56m34s; 7. TSD at 1h03m28s; 8. GPM at 1h06m03s; 9. DSR at 1h17m17s; 10. BMT at 1h28m21s.

Sprints: 1. Craig Evers (AUS) (DSR) 14; 2. Scott Thomas (DSR) 13; 3. Jason Christie (ART) 10; 4. James Oram (NZL) 8; 5. Rhys Gillet (AUS) (TSD) 6; 6. Taylor Gunman (ART) 5; 7. Joshua Prete (AUS) (BFL) 5; 8. Nick Bain (NVA) 4; 9. Ryan Wills (NZL) 2; 10. Dion Smith (NZL) 2. 

King of Mountains: 1. Rhys Gillet (AUS) (TSD) 24; 2. James Oram (NZL) 16; 3. Nick Bain (NVA) 14; 4. Joshua Prete  (AUS) (BFL) 10; 5. Mike Northey (NZL) 10; 6. Taylor Gunman (ART) 10; 7. Scott Thomas (DSR) .8. Joseph Cooper (ART) 8.

 - Stuff

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