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Harris Directs Top PureBlack Squad at Southland Tour
25 Oct, 2012

The 2012 Tour of Southland begins on Sunday 30th of October and PureBlack Racing is ready to pit itself against some of the best New Zealand, and international cyclists.

The Tour of Southland is an important milestone in the PureBlack Racing calendar.

Business Director, Greg Cross said: “It is the biggest tour on New Zealand’s racing calendar and it's a race that has a special meaning for PureBlack Racing as it was our first ever race as a team in 2010.”

PureBlack Racing has a great team going into the 900km tour said Director Sportif, John Harris. “We have had a great season on the international stage but it’s been a long season and we are bringing a couple of new riders in to cover for injuries.”

PureBlack Racing is joined for the Tour of Southland by Australian cyclist, Daniel Bonello, and Canadian Cody Canning who races for the Canadian National Team. These two recruits reflect the nature of the international season the team has under its belt.

Harris said: “We have a strong team and the new guys will make a big contribution. It is important to bring new blood from different walks of life into teams, it is like adding salt and pepper to a meal, it brings something different to the dynamics of the team.”

The six-man team for the Tour of Southland is:

Daniel Bonello
Cody Canning
Taylor Gunman
Dion Smith
Roman van Uden (Captain)
James Williamson

Of the team racing, Harris said: “We have the right guy leading [van Uden], the perfect tactician [Williamson] and the two young guns [Gunman and Smith] fired up and flying.”

“It’s a great opportunity for these guys to show how they've developed after another season of racing in Asia, North America and Australia.”

The Tour of Southland has attracted a classy line up for the six-day stage race with a number of New Zealand professional riders returning from their international schedules to race.

As always, the weather will be a huge factor in determining how the race plays out.  A selection of heavy winds, snow, ice and rain have traditionally greeted the riders at some stage of the race, and the competitors will be hoping the weekend’s snowfalls will be all they see over the coming fortnight.

Harris said: “The race will come down to two factors; which teams decide to combine and the cross winds, the weather in Invercargill is notoriously bad for [the Tour of] Southland.”

Stage One begins on Sunday with a team presentation and a 4.2km Team Time Trial through Invercargill.


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