James Oram retains Yellow Jersey
Bolton Equities Black Spoke’s Luke Mudgway praised his teammates for their selfless riding to get him into the perfect position to take stage four of the UCI 2.2 New Zealand Cycle Classic in Wellington this afternoon.
Mudgway won the stage held around the scenic Miramar Peninsular in 3hr 05 mins 12secs, while New Zealand National team’s Lewis Bower and Kiaan Watts finished second and third respectively. Roojai Online Insurance’s Lucas Carstensen and CCACHE PAR KUP’s Matthew Rice finished out the top five. Black Spoke’s James Oram finished 8th across the line and in doing so, did enough to retain yellow jersey.
At the finish line in Miramar, Mudgway was quick to thank his team.
“We had Logan ride the front all day, which kept all the riders in check, and which meant I could sit on. We had a couple of riders get sick, so we were down to four and he did basically three riders’ jobs today,” he said. “Then coming into the finish, James and Josh did a textbook lead out … I hardly had to sprint really, I just came around last corner and went as hard as I could and put my hands up!”
Mudgway said he had been focused on today’s stage, after doing extra work to help teammate Josh Burnett take stage three in Wairarapa yesterday. He said it was exhilarating to race infront of the large, vocal crowd that lined the hills, tight corners and seaside roads.
“I love coming back to New Zealand and racing here. My family and friends come to watch which is special and I only get to race in NZ a couple of times a year and then I am off to Europe for the rest of it. And them to see the crowd on the hill was amazing. It felt like the National Championship it was heaps of fun today. I really loved the circuit and I hope we can come back here again next year.”
Today’s stage set off at pace with three riders quickly taking a 20 second lead which eventually became four riders: Campbell Pithie (St George Continental), Ari Scott (Couplands) Genke Yamamoto (KINAN Racing) and Dan Garner (Corsa Pista). The group drove hard into a strong southerly head wind on the back part of the course and over the steep short hill climb, but was eventually absorbed back into the peloton.
With one lap to go, the group was altogether and it was another measured performance from Black Spoke that saw them get into the best position when it counted.
Oram, also paid tribute to his teammates including Logan Currie, and said it was great that he and Burnett could pay Mudgway back in some way. He thanked the crowd for turning out and said he felt confident Black Spoke would put on a good show for spectators tomorrow when they contest the fifth and final stage of the 2023 NZ Cycle Classic in Lambton Quay in central Wellington.
NZ Cycle Race director Jorge Sandoval also took the opportunity to thank the people of Miramar for being so accommodating and for turning out in droves to support the race.
The 2023 NZ Cycle Classic is able to take place thanks to the generous support from Trust House, Mobile Communications Service, Wizwireless, Fagan Motors, Pedal project, Best Build Construction plus all three Wairarapa District Councils and Wellington City Council.
Stage Two Winner: Luke Mudgway (Bolton Equities Black Spoke)
GC Leader: James Oram (Bolton Equities Black Spoke)
Sprint Jersey: Kiaan Watts (NZ National Team)
King of the Mountain Jersey: Matthew Wilson (Rush Velo-Ridley)
Most Aggressive Jersey: Dan Garner (Pista Corsa Development).
U23 Jersey: Camden Feint (Oxford Edge)