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Teams Fight Close Race in Tour of New Zealand
23 Apr, 2013
While the leading individual riders in the Tour of New Zealand further consolidated their leads, things are tighter at the top of the leader boards in the team’s classification after day four of racing.
Defending teams champion Christchurch Boys High School holds a two minute lead over the Pablos Wanaka team while North Island teams Hikurangi and Six Gardner Brothers continued their close battle that has seen Hikurangi inch ahead to now lead by four minutes and 32 seconds with four days of racing left.
The Christchurch Boys High team provided the 84 kilometre Tekapo to Geraldine stage winner today with 15 year old Adam Bull crossing the line first in two hours, nine minutes and 36 seconds, winning a bunch sprint from 22 riders.
Team Peak Fuel hold a narrow two minute lead over Team West Island to cling to third in the South Island with the Air Force team sitting in fourth.
Leading men’s individuals in the South and North Island, Dan Underwood and Tim James, continued to dominate the solo riders with Underwood coming in to Geraldine with the leading bunch which was 17 minutes ahead of Gary Lloyd which has seen Underwood increase his overall lead over Lloyd to 55 minutes.
James won his fourth consecutive stage in the North Island crossing the line ahead of former national representative and professional rider, Yvette Hill-Willis, who is comfortably leading the North Island female classification and second placed male individual Marty McDonnell. James won the 84 kilometre stage from Tuakau to Raglan in two hours and 48 minutes and holds a 15 minute lead over McDonnell.
Lying in fourth position in the men’s South Island solo rankings is the tandem team of Mike Watson and Neville Rodgers from Golden Bay in Nelson. Rodgers is a blind cyclist who was introduced to tandem biking about five years ago after the onset of blindness. He had previously been a cyclist and had competed in triathalons and the pair have raced in a number of events throughout New Zealand.
Open women Jeanette White finished 11 minutes ahead of second placed woman Jo Straker (masters 60+) in the South Island, to increase her lead to 44 minutes. Gillian Radcliff is lying third. 
Tomorrow’s North Island 71 kilometre stage starts in Te Kuiti and finishes in Taumarunui while in the South Island riders race 80 kilometres from Methven to Oxford.

Click to enlarge...
Stage 4 close finish

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