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Subway-Avanti Pro Cycling’s Joe Cooper has won this year’s Powernet Tour of Southland King of the Mountain jersey, confirming the win on two climbs of today’s stage seven of racing.
For the second day running Cooper, riding a specially designed KOM Avanti bike, was in an early break of seven riders and claimed the first two KOM climbs on the Winton to Te Anau 163 kilometre stage to build an unassailable lead in the climber’s competition with two stages left.
In recognition of his efforts and lead in the climber’s competition, Subway - Avanti team management and team sponsor Speedy Signs overnight quickly added the Tour de France tradition of red polka dots to his Avanti bike to match his polka dot KOM leader’s jersey.
“I am stoked for not only myself but for the Subway – Avanti Team. We had such a tough start but as a team we rallied and refocused on the KOM jersey so it feels great to win it.”
Hayden Roulston from the Calder Stewart Bike NZ National team won this year’s first wet stage out sprinting Share the Roads Jack Bauer.
Yellow jersey holder Jeremy Yates crashed for the second time in two days as he dropped his rain jacket into his front wheel as he took it off.
James Williamson from the Subway – Avanti team did not start today’s stage due to illness and Michael Vink finally conceded to the injuries he suffered on the first day of racing, pulling out of the race after 75 kilometres today.
Tomorrow's final day of racing features a 79 kilometre stage from Te Anau to Lumsden, followed by a 64 kilometre stage from Winton to the finish in Invercargill.
• Stage eight starts in Te Anau at 9.30am and approx finish is 11.20am at Lumsden.
• Stage nine starts in Winton at 1.30pm and approx finish is in Gala Street, Invercargill at 3pm.
• The Subway – Avanti Pro Cycling Team is New Zealand’s only UCI Continental team receiving UCI status in early 2009.
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