NZ cyclist Josh Atkins third after opening stage

Last updated 21:07 04/01/2013

Relevant offers

Other Sports

Swimming siblings quartet keen to follow up on World Masters Games success Adventure loving couple Nathan and Jodie Fa'avae to compete at GODZone Chapter 7 in Fiordland True grit has Team New Zealand pumped for next America's Cup round-robin Team New Zealand's last-gasp penalty win over Sweden was controversial, but it was also a masterclass in match-racing Banged up Brits bruised again as Sir Ben Ainslie's BAR suffer third consecutive defeat Umpires concede penalty that gave Team NZ a controversial win over Artemis was wrong Late penalty hands Team New Zealand controversial win over Sweden at America's Cup 'You have to play to the whistle' - Peter Burling admits he played for penalty in thrilling win over Artemis Recap: 35th America's Cup qualifying series - race day three Quiz: Test your sports knowledge - May 30

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