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DAY SIX REPORT: Friday 17 February
The longest stage of the tour awaited a weary field of riders this morning, a 94km stage from Tokoroa to Hamilton.
The first 20kms was all action with a flurry of attacks coming from all the main contenders but no one could manage to stay away for longer than a couple of kms. It wasn’t until the only major climb later in the stage that the pressure went on at the front of the Peloton and thinned it out to only an elite group of 27 of the strongest riders.
They remained together for the final 20kms with what promised to be another exciting bunch sprint. It was the lightning speed once again of Stage 9 winner Scott Ardern who was too quick and took stage 11 into his home town to the delight of the large crowd of Hamilton cyclists who gathered at the finish.
Steven Stannard remains in yellow and barring disaster tomorrow should be to strong and take victory overall. It was also another commanding day for Women’s Leader Jane Walker, who has complete control over all of her rivals and like Stannard looks destine to win the title.
The Lion Foundation Wellington to Auckland Cycle Challenge, 12-18 February 2012
Further information available at www.wellingtontoauckland.co.nz