Date: Wednesday, 08 April 2015
Posted by: Cycling Southland

2015 Tour de Lakes - STLCanterbury's Richard Lawson made a big play on the final day of the Tour de Lakes cycle race but Luke Macpherson held on to take the crown.

Macpherson went into the final day on Monday with a 2min 34sec lead over second place Justin Stott.

Lawson was more than four minutes behind Macpherson but halved that through a gutsy ride in the tough Queenstown to Glenorchy stage on Monday morning.

Macpherson, however, wasn't about to let his lead slip away and did enough in the final stage from Glenorchy to Moke Lake to win the Vital Signs-sponsored tour.

He finished 1min 55sec ahead of Lawson, who was second, while another Cantabrian, Reon Nolan, was third.

Macpherson has been one of the big improvers in Southland cycling in recent years and his first Tour de Lakes A-grade victory was deserved one.

Nolan claimed the Harcourts Sprint Ace honour in A-grade while Lawson was the Zookeepers King of the Mountain.

It was another Southlander who took out B-grade with Brendon Akeroyd the 2015 champion.

Akeroyd went into the final day with a 53sec lead and that was cut to 20sec, but Akeroyd hung tightly onto the victory with Ben Hillery second and Glen Gould third.

Tour sponsor Michael White took out the sprint ace and Nelson's Ethan Batt the king of the mountain in B-grade.

It was Heath Eckersley who took out the C grade ahead of Greg Thompson and Scott Molina with Thompson the king of the mountain and Harrison Steadman the sprint ace.

Wanaka's Mikayla Harvey was crowned the Tour de Lakes women's champion and also picked up the sprint ace honours along the way.

Maddie Campbell was the king of the mountain.

Tour director Allan Dunn was pleased with the way the 2015 event unfolded.

"It was a good field at 80, it was manageable. The best we've ever had was 120 and that was pretty hectic."

Dunn said having six riders from Tahiti in the field was a highlight of the tour.

"It was good to have the a bit of French flavour in the peleton as far as the language goes," Dunn said.

"They are going to go home and spread the good word about cycling here so hopefully we'll have more come back."

Article and photo courtesy The Southland Times

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