Date: Monday, 09 October 2017

Promising young rider Marshall Erwood managed to hold the under-13 yellow jersey from start to finish to be the best placed Southlander in the three-day Yunca Junior Tour of Southland.

More than 105 riders from around the country took part in the six-stage 34th Yunca Junior Tour of Southland held over the weekend.

A mix of varying wind conditions and tired legs meant some riders were able to make valuable time gains over the hilly Grove Bush-Springhills circuit on Sunday, with another Southland-based rider, Mitchel Fitzsimons, overturning a seven-second deficit to claim the overall U15 boys title.

Tour director Danielle Ralph was delighted with the successful event, which is seen as an important stepping stone for younger riders eyeing successful cycling careers.

"The wind wasn't too strong but the crosswinds really made it challenging for the riders. Those who rode tactical races and planned their attacks did well. It would have certainly been a good learning curve for the riders," she said.

Erwood finished sixth in his less-favoured Inner City Criterium, held on Sunday morning, but did enough during the 14-kilometre afternoon stage to secure the win.

He also won the dprint and king of the mountain jerseys.

In the under-15 girls' division, Southland's Rhylee Akeroyd was unable to overturn a two-minute deficit and finished fifth behind Katie Batt (Blenheim), although she claimed the sprint jersey.

Fitzsimons was second in the final stage in the under-15 boys' division, but was able to make up time and win by three seconds over Kaio Lart, and also claim the sprint and king of the mountain jerseys.

Ally Wollaston claimed the three jerseys in the under-17 girls' division, ahead of Sami Donnelly (Christchurch), with Southlander Emily Paterson holding on to fourth, 25 seconds off the lead.

Despite a spirited breakaway from Finn Fisher-Black (Nelson) and Laurence Pithie (Christchurch), Cambridge rider Josh Lane was able to maintain his overall lead to win the U17 boys' title.

Southland-based rider Sophie-Leigh Bloxham won the sprint jersey in the under-19 women's division, with Niamh Fisher-Black (Nelson) winning the overall title.

Despite winning the final stage in the U19 men's division, Southlander Corbin Strong could only reduce the deficit by five seconds, not enough to beat Bailey O'Donnell (Christchurch).

Caption: Greg Baunton and Ben Hogan lead the under-19 men's Inner City Criterium race on Tay Street during the Junior Tour of Southland.
Photo courtesy Stuff

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