NZ cyclist Josh Atkins third after opening stage

Last updated 21:07 04/01/2013

Relevant offers

Other Sports

Joseph Parker cleared to head to United States America's Cup pow-wow proves to be 'positive' NZ surfer Paige Hareb moves through at US Open Parker still set to spar in Vegas, despite delays New Zealand's leading surfers bomb at US Open Joseph Parker still sweating on passport problem Rio Olympics sailing venue likened to a sewer Russell Coutts: 'It's best that you not come' Kiwis claim six golds at world rowing champs Terrorist threat at US Open surfing competition

Talented New Zealand cyclist Josh Atkins defied oppressive heat to sit third on the general and under-23 classification after the opening road stage of the Jayco Herald Sun Tour in Melbourne today.

The 20-year-old from Christchurch is 17 seconds behind Aaron Donnelly, who outsprinted fellow Australian Calvin Watson and Aitkens at the end of a 147.7km feat of endurance from Sunbury to Bendigo.

Temperatures exceeded 40degC en route, a heatwave that forced organisers to purchase every bottle of water available at the Redesdale general store after race supplies were exhausted about midway through a stage which started two hours earlier than originally scheduled in a bid to protect riders. 

The tour-opening prologue winner Jordan Kerby finished in 25th place, 2 min 35sec behind Donnelly (4hr 9min 57secs).

James Oram was the next best New Zealander in 13th overall, 2min 52sec behind the leader. Westley Gough (+5min 21sec), Tom Scully (+6min 42sec), Mike Northey (+8min 52sec) and Greg Henderson (+8min 53sec) are also inside the top 50 of the 104-strong field.

It was a tough day for retirement-bound former New Zealand Olympian and Tour de France rider Julian Dean, who is 73rd on the GC, 16min 30sec behind Donnelly.

The tour continues tomorrow with a 146.6km journey from Mitchelton Winery to Healesville and ends on Sunday with a 93km trawl from Moonah Links to Arthurs Seat.

Ad Feedback

- Fairfax Media

Special offers
Opinion poll

Of these accolades, which would you like to win most?

Football's golden ball

Commonwealth Games gold

US Open tennis title

World Cup of Darts

Tour de France yellow jersey

British Open golf title

Vote Result

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content