Tour of Southland brave stage two win 'biggest dream' for Rotorua cyclist Sam Phipps
Rotorua cyclist Sam Phipps is still coming to terms with winning a stage on the Tour of Southland.
Team Skoda Racing's Phipps claimed the second stage of the 2016 Tour of Southland from Riverton to Te Anau, as part of a brave early nine rider breakaway.
They held the chasing group at bay for over 100km and the under-23 rider pushed clear of a handful of others in the last four kilometres to claim his first ever stage win on the SBS Tour of Southland.
"It was really awesome, this has been the biggest dream of my cycling career to win a stage on the Tour of Southland," he said.
"It just hasn't sunk in yet, it is going to take a while to, but I am stoked."
The field split relatively early on the hills just outside of Riverton as riders kept attacking early.
The group of nine riders led the race through Tuatapere by more than two minutes, after one third of the 150km stage.
Alex Frame, Morgan Smith, Sam Phipps, Nicholas Reddish, James Fouche, Reon Nolan, Jasper Hamelink, Josh Harrison and Jordan Gilmore managed to increase their lead to over three minutes halfway through the race.
Gilmore was dropped on the Blackmount hill climb, while Harrison found the going too tough near Manapouri with 20km to go.
The breakaway group containing several under-23 riders worked together to preserve their lead.
"Working pretty well, there were points we had guys sitting off and everything, but we gave them a bit of a rark up and we started rolling through again," he said.
"We went quite easy up Blackmount, if we went any harder I would have been in trouble, but we got straight back into it and started rolling."
"The main thing was keeping everyone motivated."
The chasing bunch closed the gap significantly in the final 10km to one minute, but were unable to bridge the gap, and so the final seven riders were left to decide placings between themselves.
"There was a point with about 20km to go that we thought it could be hard to stay away," Phipps said.
"But we kept rolling and the peloton must have stayed away, it was our chance and I jumped away with four kilometres to go and managed to hold them off."
NZ track representative Frame from Kia Motors - Ascot Park Hotel shaped as the rider to beat in the small leading bunch of riders, but it was Rotorua's Phipps who broke away from the handful of riders, to take a relatively comfortable win.
"It was a hard day in the head wind out there and but we were rolling pretty well the whole time," Phipps said.
"We had some strong guys out there like Alex Frame, a legend, pulling hard and the other guys were pulling hard, it was a good day out there."
Frame swapped the yellow jersey with team-mate Travis McCabe.
They sit first and second in general classification while their Kia Motors - Ascot Park Hotel combination leads the team results.
Placemakers masters rider Reon Nolan finished third to be awarded the silver jersey for over-35 year-olds.
Southland's Nick Kergozou retained the sprint jersey after a relatively quiet day for the Barry Stewart Builders team, while Ollie Jones and Ayden Toovey hold the KOM and U23 jerseys respectively.
Riverton to Tuatapere
1. Sam Phipps (TSR) 4h00m00s; 2. Alex Frame (KAP) at 02s; 3. Reon Nolan (PMK) at 02s; 4.
Morgan Smith (BSB) at 02s; 5. James Fouche (CLM) at 02s; 6. Nicholas Reddish (ORF) at 02s; 7.
Jasper Hamelink (NED) (CST) at 08s; 8. Travis McCabe (USA) (KAP) at 01m03s; 9. James
Williamson (CLM) at 01m03s; 10. Ayden Toovey (AUS) (TIN) at 01m03s; 11. Ethan Batt (TSR) at
01m03s; 12. Thery Schir (SUI) (CST) at 01m03s; 13. Nick Kergozou (BSB) at 01m03s; 14. Liam
Magennis (AUS) (TIN) at 01m03s; 15. Ryan Wills (PNL) at 01m03s; 16. Nick Miller (BSB) at 01m03s;
17. Sjoerd Kouwenhoven (NED) (PNL) at 01m03s; 18. Tom Sexton (PMK) at 01m03s; 19. Michael
Vink (MGH) at 01m03s; 20. Matt Zenovich (PNL) at 01m03s; 21. Steven Lampier (GBR) (KAP) at
01m03s; 22. Timothy Chapman (CLM) at 01m03s; 23. Drew Morey (AUS) (BSB) at 01m03s; 24. Ryan
Christensen (ORF) at 01m03s; 25. Aaron Gate (CLM) at 01m03s;
1. Alex Frame (KAP) 8h16m37s; 2. Travis McCabe (USA) (KAP) at 42s; 3. Ayden Toovey (AUS) (TIN)
at 46s; 4. Matt Zenovich (PNL) at 48s; 5. Sjoerd Kouwenhoven (NED) (PNL) at 01m00s; 6. Michael
Vink (MGH) at 01m13s; 7. Steven Lampier (GBR) (KAP) at 01m13s; 8. Taylor Gunman (KAP) at
01m13s; 9. Aaron Gate (CLM) at 01m13s; 10. Ryan Christensen (ORF) at 01m15s; 11. Drew Morey
(AUS) (BSB) at 01m20s; 12. Luke Mudgway (BSB) at 01m20s; 13. Ryan Wills (PNL) at 01m21s; 14.
Hamish Bond (VWD) at 01m21s; 15. Hayden Roulston (PMK) at 01m22s; 16. Michael Torckler (VWD)
at 01m27s; 17. Thery Schir (SUI) (CST) at 01m36s; 18. Ollie Jones (OPC) at 01m38s; 19. Tom
Sexton (PMK) at 02m05s; 20. Richard Lawson (PMK) at 02m05s; 21. Roman Van Uden (PNL) at
03m20s; 22. James Fouche (CLM) at 06m43s; 23. Morgan Smith (BSB) at 07m18s; 24. Nicholas
Reddish (ORF) at 07m19s; 25. Sam Phipps (TSR) at 07m24s;
1. Kia Motors - Ascot Park Hotel 24h51m51s; 2. PowerNet at 01m15s; 3. Placemakers at 02m31s; 4.
Barry Stewart Builders at 07m56s; 5. Vantage Windows & Doors at 09m14s; 6. Creation Signs - L&M
Group Ricoh at 14m19s; 7. Olivers Real Food Racing at 14m54s; 8. Tineli Performance Bikewear at
15m01s; 9. Mike Greer Homes at 15m37s; 10. Calder Stewart at 15m51s;
1. Nick Kergozou (BSB) 29; 2. Liam Magennis (AUS) (TIN) 13; 3. James Fouche (CLM) 13; 4. Morgan
Smith (BSB) 12; 5. Josh Harrison (AUS) (OPC) 9; 6. James Williamson (CLM) 9; 7. Logan Griffin
(ORF) 8; 8. Timothy Chapman (CLM) 6; 9. Reon Nolan (PMK) 5; 10. Roman Van Uden (PNL) 5;
King of Mountains
1. Ollie Jones (OPC) 18; 2. Sam Cox (AUS) (TIN) 11; 3. Jasper Hamelink (NED) (CST) 10; 4. James
Fouche (CLM) 10; 5. Logan Griffin (ORF) 7; 6. Liam Magennis (AUS) (TIN) 6; 7. Alex Frame (KAP) 4;
8. Ayden Toovey (AUS) (TIN) 3; 9. Callum Gordon (TSR) 2; 10. Frank Sutton (ITM) 2;