5 Nov 2011

Atkins wins Tour of Southland

5:39 pm on 5 November 2011

The Christchurch rider Josh Atkins has become the youngest winner of cycling's Tour of Southland.

The 19-year-old finished in the chasing bunch with his Powernet team, six seconds behind Patrick Bevin, who took out a bunched sprint finish to win the final stage to Invercargill - which was reduced to 75 kilometres after a wintry blast forced the cancellation of the penultimate time trial in Winton.

Bevin, of the Ascot Park Hotel team, finished second overall, 57 seconds behind Atkins, who also retains the under-23 winner's jersey. Pure Black's Tim Gudsell, who won Friday's stage to Gore, was another two seconds back in third overall.

Pure Black won the Teams classification, Gordon McCauley won the Sprint jersey and Joe Chapman won the King of the Mountains jersey.

A wintry blast forced the cancellation of this morning's penultimate stage, a 13-kilometre time trial in Winton, with snow causing treacherous road conditions.