Big names take on tour


Top road cyclists including double Olympic gold medal rower Hamish Bond, Commonwealth Games gold medal mountain biker Sam Gaze and Canadian defending champion James Piccoli will race Queenstown roads on Halloween.

Stage 3 of the SBS Bank Tour of Southland, on Wednesday, October 31, sees riders race 138km from Mossburn to Coronet Peak, coming in along Kingston Road, out to Lake Hayes, then along Speargrass Flat Rd and up to the skifield.

They’re expected to reach the finish-line shortly after 2pm.

Eight-time rowing world champ-turned cyclist Bond is aiming to represent New Zealand on the bike at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

He wants to take a step forward from his 2016 tour effort.

“When I came down last it was just after the Olympics and I’d only been cycling a month or so,” he says.”

The stunning ascent up Coronet Peak and the short time trial on the final day loom as potential targets.

“I felt like I performed well last time up Coronet Peak, which is contrary to being 80kg-plus, which most people consider an obstacle. I think obstacles are largely in the mind.

“Also the time trial is something I’ve been working on for a while now and feel as though it’s something that I’m relatively adept at on a national level, although this is something different given that it’s shorter and on road bikes.”