30 Oct 2017

Torckler wins first stage of Tour of Southland

4:35 pm on 30 October 2017

The Taranaki rider Michael Torckler has won a bunch sprint finish to claim the first stage of cycling's Tour of Southland, a 170km stage from Invercargill to Lumsden.

Auckland's Roman van Uden retains the overall tour leaders yellow jersey after winning yesterday's prologue and has a five second lead over Torckler.

Six years ago Torckler was in California training when he was hit by a car coming round a corner.

Torckler was thrown from his bike hitting the windshield and taken to hospital in a critical condition.

However the driver fled the scene but was later caught and sentenced ten years in prison.

Van Uden was pleased with his effort particular given conditions rather warm at 25 degrees with light winds.

Michael Torckler nabs the first stage of the Tour of Southland.

Michael Torckler nabs the first stage of the Tour of Southland. Photo: Supplied

"It was pretty hot out there so the boys are looking pretty salty in their kit, probably pretty tired tonight but they should recover alright," van Uden said.

"It's good to be in yellow. We don't want to give it away for free. Second on the stage to Michael Torckler is pretty good," he said.

"We managed to skip away in the last 20km and the bunch of 20 we were in didn't quite mow him down. I managed to pop out with 300m to go and finished half a wheel behind him."

Stage two of the tour on Tuesday takes the riders 150km from Riverton, over the Blackmount hillclimb to a picturesque finish on the Te Anau lakefront, with more warm temperatures in the forecast.