Cycling Southland's Yunca Junior Cycle Tour of Southland was held in contrasting conditions over the weekend.
After Saturday's afternoon stage was abandoned for the first time in the event's 29 year history due to horrendous weather conditions at Te Tipua, yesterday's final stage at Grove Bush was raced under clear skies and sunshine.
Australian Ayden Toovey claimed the Under 19 Men's title with victory on the final stage after Central Otago's Liam Aitcheson had led from start to finish but ran out of legs on the last lap of the last stage. Aitcheson, a medalist for New Zealand at the recent UCI Juniors Track World Championships, had done little preparation for the event having stepped off his bike after the Worlds. He secured two outstanding breakaway stage victories but his legs gave up on him yesterday.
Wanganui's Cassie Cameron claimed the Under 19 Women's title by the narrowest of margins, winning a sprint finish yesterday over Southland's Georgia Timpany which required the photo finish camera to separate the two. The time bonuses earned from that win helped Cameron leap in to yellow by just three seconds over Alice Hay.
The Under 17 boys finished with a hugely impressive solo victory by Declan Baker who took the stage by nearly two minutes and catapulted himself in to third position overall. But former Yunca Tour Under 15 champion Jack Edwards added the Under 17 trophy to his collection with victory by 23 seconds with fellow Australian Michael Storer in second spot.
Madison Farrant triumphed in a closely fought Under 17 Girls classification while Campbell Stewart and Tori Saunders both proved to be a class above the Under 15 field in recording impressive victories. The Under 13 titles went the way of Hamish Keast and Nelson's Britney Kerr.
The cycling action now moves to the track with Cycling Southland hosting its annual Junior Track Cycling Carnival on Tuesday and Wednedsay nights with racing starting at 6:30pm both nights.