Friday 3rd April - Monday 6th April 2015
Vital Signs Map My Rides
The original event was organised during the 1960's by the Glengarry Amateur Cycling Club. The tour started in Invercargill and the cyclist raced to Queenstown on Queens Birthday Weekend . There were three stages held on the Saturday on the trip to Queenstown and on the Sunday there were two stages held in and around Queenstown.
The old car racing circuit in down town Queenstown was usually used for a criterium to finish the event (imagine using that circuit these days). The weather was generally terrible, snow, hail or frost were all part of usual winter conditions that greeted the hardened riders each year.
1991 saw the last Queenstown tour as it was then known and it quietly disappeared from the radar until I re-started it in 1996. The Tour was again held at Queen's Birthday Weekend and was slammed together in six weeks. Snow greeted the riders at the start in Winton that year and the tour start was moved north to Lumsden so that it would be safe to continue.
Gordon McCauley easily won that year and complained that a little bit of snow affected the distance of the race. The following year I moved the event to Easter Weekend and we raced in Autumn not Winter to most riders approval. That year the event was still two days with three stages up to Queenstown on Saturday followed by two stages on the Sunday, a stage race around Arrowtown and a criterium at Frankton.
1998 saw the event start in Queenstown and become a four day race with a Prologue up Fern Hill.
Starting in Queenstown made the event even more popular with riders getting away from the colder Southland conditions during Easter. That year the tour took in Cromwell for the first time and became the Cromwell-Queenstown Cycling Tour.
Cromwell is still a big part of this race and the race briefing and Prologue Time Trial are held their every year. The Tour de Lakes now travels into Fiordland taking in Five Rivers, Mossburn, Manapouri and Te Anau. The idea in travelling down and into Fiorland was to get away from traffic problems every two years caused by the War Birds over Wanaka Air Show.
Also introduced in recent years was the two stages in and out of Glenorchy with the tour finishing on the big climb up to Moke Lake. A dinner presentation and buffet meal are held at the conclusion of the event at Queenstown's Millennium Hotel where the original trophies are still presented. Names like Brian Fowler, Blair Stockwell, Glen McLeay and Triathlete Chris Gemmell show the class of rider to have won this event.
There are some other very special trophies awarded each year during racing. The sportsmanship award in memory of young Southland cyclist Stuart McLean brings a lump to my throat each year when it is presented.
The James Faulding Memorial Award for the first A Grade rider to cross the line in Glenorchy is eagerly contested. James was hit by a car while training in Dunedin a few weeks after competing with distinction in his first Tour de Lakes. James was a fine young man with a lot of talent.
This year we will continue to offer women riders the same opportunities as the men by giving the women their own race with the leaders classifications. This road race is growing in popularity with women riders of all grades.
So come on girls - enter today!
In regards to accommodation for the 2015 event we have special rates available at Millennium Queenstown and Manapouri Lakeview Motor Inn, however, to receive the special rate you must phone the hotel/motels and quote "Tour de Lakes."
**ATTENTION ALL COMPETITORS**
Tour de Lakes Specific Race Regulations
In this stage race, the same bicycle shall be used in all stages, standard road bikes fitted with standard road wheels including the Time Trials (no disc wheels allowed). The only exception permitted will be in the event of a breakage.
Handlebars must be of a standard or classic style, no clip-on extensions will be permitted although areo helmets will be allowed.
ARCHIVE - 2104
Perth-based Alex McGregor is targeting a strong National Racing Series across the Ditch after defending his Vital Signs Tour de Lakes title during the long weekend.
McGregor, who grew up in Alexandra, spent time in Dunedin but has since shifted to Western Australia, where much of his family live, returned to Central Otago and claimed the Vital Signs-sponsored four-day race by the narrowest of margins after a gripping finish from Glenorchy to Moke Lake.
After leader and 2012 winner Daniel Barry self-destructed on the penultimate stage from Queenstown to Glenorchy in the morning, it was up to Brad Evans and McGregor to duke it out on the final stage, with McGregor taking the yellow jersey by one second.
The pair had laid down an early marker when they produced identical times in the time trial during Friday's prologue.
"After the prologue it was quite bizarre to have equal tour leaders," McGregor said.
"That sort of shook things up in the first road stage because it didn't fall on one guy to do the chasing or defend the leader's jersey. It was a different scenario to race under, we sort of shared the workload at times."
McGregor had been prepared to settle for a place on the podium before Barry lost 7min 45sec on the 45km beat out to Glenorchy.
"[Dan's] a really nice guy and I've got a lot of respect for him because he's a really strong bike rider. I think he might have just gone out too hard [on Saturday] defending the jersey."
McGregor, who has also claimed a round of the Benchmark Series this month, rides for Perth cycling team Satalyst Giant.
In his spare time he helps his grandfather with a lawnmowing round but most of his focus is on developing as a rider in the ideal climate and strong racing community that Perth provides.
"They are happy with the way I'm going so, hopefully, I can keep the ball rolling into the National Racing Series." McGregor has not really threatened during the Tour of Southland but has ambitions to be a genuine threat to the yellow jersey later this year.
"I've never really had consistency of training going into a Tour of Southland. This year I'll look to do it a bit differently, and obviously have the backing of the racing from the NRS."
Sophie Williamson won the women's race, clearing out from the combined ladies and C-grade bunch on the final stage, to also take the Queen of the Mountains and sprint ace classifications.
Luke Macpherson was the first Southland rider home, finishing fourth overall and claiming the Frank O'Conner Cup.
- © Fairfax NZ News
2014 Official Results
A Grade Prologue TT
A Grade Stage TT Start Order
A Grade Stage 1
A Grade Stage 2
A Grade TT Stage 3
A Grade TT & GC
A Grade Stage 4
A Grade Stage 5
A Grade Stage 6
B Grade Prologue TT
B Grade Stage TT Start Order
B Grade Stage 1
B Grade Stage 2
B Grade TT Stage 3
B Grade TT & GC
B Grade Stage 4
B Grade Stage 5
B Grade Stage 6
(Clarification that Blake Tait-Jones was second in the B Grade GC - error in resutls provided and cannot amend spreadsheet supplied)
C Grade Prologue TT
C Grade Stage TT Start Order
C Grade Stage 1
C Grade Stage 2
C Grade TT Stage 3
C Grade TT & GC
C Grade Stage 4
C Grade Stage 5
C Grade Stage 6
Ladies Prologue TT
Ladies Grade Stage TT Start Order
Ladies Grade Stage 1
Ladies Grade Stage 2
Ladies Grade TT Stage 3
Ladies Grade TT & GC
Ladies Grade Stage 4
Ladies Grade Stage 5
Ladies Grade Stage 6
Official Race Regulations
10 WEEK TRAINING PROGRAMME