Latham podiums on final day of French road cycling tour

Monday 6 September 2010, 10:57AM

By Cycling New Zealand



Te Awamutu’s Pete Latham has finished third in the final stage of the testing As-en-Provence Tour that finished in France today.

The New Zealand endurance track team competed in the elite national French road tour as a shakedown before moving into their track camp in Bordeaux this week to begin final preparations for next month’s Commonwealth Games.

The final day was a tough test with four classified climbs and eight loops of a flat inner city circuit to finish, which suited the New Zealanders with Latham and Westley Gough managing to negotiate their way over the climbs in the lead group.

Both New Zealand riders were at the front of the lead bunch with 1km remaining as Latham attempted to lead out Gough but a complicated chicane 100m from the finish upset their plans with Latham holding on for third.

Yesterday Auckland’s Aaron Gate showed his skills in finishing fourth on the third stage, leading the bunch sprint after a great lead out from Latham as the peloton just failed to catch the three-strong break.

“Overall it was an excellent effort from the guys. We ended up with a stage win on the first day, a third and a fourth and most importantly they got in some tough racing against strong competition and now go into their track programme with a great base behind them after nearly three months of road racing in Europe,” said BikeNZ coach Stu MacDonald.