NZ cyclist Josh Atkins third after opening stage

Last updated 21:07 04/01/2013

Relevant offers

Other Sports

Queenstown training helps Jack Beaumont win NZ Mountain Running Championships men's title Mark Hunt not going anywhere as he refuses to give up on UFC title shot USA too strong for the Black Sticks in match one of two match series Cyclist Keagan Girdlestone conquers Le Race, 10 months after near-death crash Luke Jumeau: 'The Jedi' fights for his dream as UFC strikes back in New Zealand Bob Arum says UFC standing in the way of Conor McGregor-Floyd Mayweather mega-fight Number of horse related injuries decreasing, but still costing millions Peter Fury, trainer of Hughie Fury, granted entry to New Zealand for Joseph Parker's world heavyweight title defence Pumped Mark Hunt heading back to where it all began with headline act at UFC Auckland Rangiora set for stellar match between Black Sticks women and USA

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

Will Shane Cameron beat Kali Meehan on Saturday?

For sure. Cameron will knock him out.

It will be close but I think Cameron on points.

Meehan will knock him out. This is his last fight.

I'm tipping Meehan to win on points.

Vote Result

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content