Node 4’s Mike Northey Wins Tour of Southland

Mike Northey, who spent the season riding for Node-4 Giordana in Britain, has won one of New Zealand’s most prestigious stage races, the Tour of Southland.

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Northey won the 2012 PowerNet Tour of Southland after a decisive final stage from Winton to Invercargill. Northey was 17 seconds behind Tour leader, American Carter Jones, after the morning’s individual time trial in Winton, but the Tour’s defining moves were made on the final stage.

Northey racing at the Sheffield crit a few months ago in Britain.

Led by Hayden Roulston and Michael Vink, a break went clear early and Northey and his Node 4-Subaru teammates made sure it was one they were not going to miss. “It was dangerous, but in hindsight it worked well for us,” said Northey.

“I knew it was going to be the winning move and my team mate managed to jump me across to the break and that was it, we were away from there. It was pretty awesome and a good feeling to come in knowing I’d taken the title. I still can’t believe I’ve won. This is the biggest tour I’ve won, it’s my eighth time here and I never thought I would win it.”

Northey, 25, who is rumoured to be leading a team in Britain next year, climbed his way into the yellow jersey early in the Tour, winning the stage finish at Bluff Hill on Tuesday and maintaining his hold on the lead throughout the two stages on Wednesday. Jones then took the lead after Thursday’s stage, which finished on the Crown Range and, after Friday’s stage from Invercargill to Gore Jones, retained just a four seconds lead going into the final day.

“After the stage from Invercargill to Gore on Friday, I was confident that if it all went my way I had a good shot at winning,” Northey said. “There is a lot of luck involved as well and luck was on my side.”

Northey’s team mates – Christchurch’s Daniel Barry and British riders Dave Clark, Matt Cronshaw, James Moss and James Sampson – worked hard throughout the week to support him.

Today, Northey was crediting his win to his team and to his years of experience riding the PowerNet Tour of Southland. “You couldn’t do it without a strong team. We always had strength in numbers; we were the team that had the most guys up there at any point. Definitely having a strong team around me helps and we have been racing together all year, so we know each other well.”

“But it’s experience as well, knowing the roads and what to expect and knowing your competition as well.” Northey’s Node 4-Subaru team also won the Wensley’s Cycles team classification.


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