News – Williams 3rd on stage in NZ


Young Welsh rider Stevie Williams is third on hilly stage in the New Zealand Cycle Classic, now in third overall

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News – Williams 3rd on stage in NZ

Stevie Williams climbs to third overall, Steve Lampier 5th overall as the men in black put two riders in top 10.


A stunning team effort by Australian based Avanti IsoWhey Sports enabled them to claim a double podium finish as well as the yellow leader’s jersey during an eventful Stage Four of the UCI 2.2 New Zealand Cycle Classic in the Wairarapa today.

In a day marked by soaring temperatures, a gruelling hilly course and a crash which resulted in two riders being taken to hospital, it was young Australian Ben O’Connor who won the 152km stage in 4hr0min35secs, as well as claim the Ricoh U23 riders’ jersey and the overall yellow leader’s jersey.

Teammate Mark O’Brien made it a one, two for Avanti finishing second at the top of Admiral Hill in Gladstone while Welshman Stephen Williams, racing for JLT Condor finished third. First New Zealander home today in fourth place was James Oram riding for ONE Pro Cycling while Michael Vink of the New Zealand National team was fifth.

Twenty year-old O’Connor was beaming on the podium nestled in a countryside paddock – not surprising really. It was his first podium finish in a UCI-registered race and his first time claiming a UCI tour leader’s jersey.

“I am absolutely stoked, obviously the aspiration has always been to become a professional cyclist and this is my first year with Avanti IsoWhey and I am loving it right now. I just hope it continues like this,” he said.

His comments follow an eventful day of racing which saw riders tackle eight hill climbs including the highest point on the tour – Admiral Hill at 495m above sea level – and race in 30degree temperatures. For the first hour of the race no one took control but once the peloton settled down a breakaway group of five riders emerged including Hamish Schreurs (NZL), Nathan Elliot (Kenyan Riders Downunder), Andy Hagan (Scoda Racing), Ryan Christensen (Oliver’s Real Food Racing) and Scott Thomas (Data#3 Cisco Racing). The group worked hard out in front and had built a 4minute lead when at approximately 118km a crash occurred that resulted in Schreurs and Elliot taken to hospital.

The remaining trio forged ahead until they were caught by chase group, which included 20 riders represented from JLT, ONE Pro, New Zealand and Avanti. With approximately 20km to go, O’Connor knew it was time to make a move.

“Leading into the final climb ONE Pro had a big full on team time trial, they were going full gas at the base and had us a little worried I thought if James Oram can still go after this I’ll be impressed,” said O’Connor.

“I was with Mark up the base and I passed him, and then Torckler was with me but with 4km to go I gave it a big heave and rode to the top. I had a little mechanical mishap when my seat post snapped with 3km to go and I was out of my saddle. I didn’t know whether to change bikes or not, but there was only 1km to go so I just copped it and rode to the top.”

O’Connor was full of praise for his Avanti teammates including Sam Crome and is feeling confident heading into tomorrow’s fifth and final stage.

“I am guessing we’ll try and keep it altogether tomorrow – the guys will try and attack and launch on the climbs but we’re strong enough to have them all covered and the boys are full capable of keeping it one, two on the GC.”

Christensen’s strong work on the bike early on in the race saw him presented with the Mitre 10 Mega King of the Mountain Jersey and the Most Aggressive Rider jersey while Dylan Newberry (Data#3) retained his Fagan Motors Sprint Ace Jersey.

Today’s challenging conditions also saw six riders fail to finish (DNF) meaning that only 61 riders will take to the start line tomorrow. The New Zealand National team will have their work cut out for them with only two riders remaining.

The fifth and final stage of the New Zealand Cycle Classic will be held tomorrow and features an undulating 122kmkm circuit north of Masterton. The expected time of riders to cross the finish line is 1.15pm.



1 O’CONNOR, Ben (U23) ART 4:00:35
2 O’BRIEN, Mark ART 00:31
3 WILLIAMS, Stephen (U23) JLT 00:34
4 ORAM, James OPC 00:40
5 VINK, Michael NZL 00:44
6 LAMPIER, Steven JLT 00:47
7 TORCKLER, Michael THT 01:01
8 THOMAS, Scott DSR 02:05
9 KATSONIS, Nicholas (U23) SOM 02:09
10 CUMING, Michael SOM 02:12
11 CHRISTIE, Jason KRD 02:30
12 NEUMANN, Mitchel COB
13 CAMERON, Tim NZT 03:04
14 SMITH, Dion OPC 03:06
15 SMITH, Morgan KRD
16 GORDON, Callum (U23) TSR 03:31
17 CARTER, Tom (U23) SSK 03:32
18 RUSH, Tim NZT
19 BULL, Adam (U23) SOM 03:47
20 MARRYATT, Jake (U23) BBT 03:51
21 IRVINE, Saxon DSR 03:59
22 ROWLANDS, David FMT 04:14
23 HOUSE, Kristian OPC 04:39
24 CULEY, Marcus MCS
25 WYNNIATT, Cameron THT 04:52
26 THOMAS, Ryan (U23) DSR
27 CROME, Sam ART 05:10
28 SUTTON, Frank (U23) TSR 05:37
29 PRETE, Joshua COB 05:43
30 HILL, Samuel (U23) GPM 06:30
31 EVANS, Brad NZL
33 ATKINS, George JLT 07:40
34 KERRISON, Jesse (U23) SOM
35 STANDRILL, Calvin (U23) FMT 10:28
36 NEWBERRY, Dylan (U23) DSR
38 LEWER, Flynn FMT 11:42
39 MCDERMOTT, Luke MCS 14:12
41 MCCORMICK, Hayden (U23) OPC
43 HAGAN, Andy TSR
44 VOLKERS, Samuel DSR 14:34
45 ROBINSON, Tom SOM 14:38
46 MORT, Logan SFT 15:57
47 CHRISTISON, Shamus (U23) SFT
48 GOUGH, Fraser ART 19:51
49 LAWLESS, Christopher (U23) JLT
50 LANGHAM, Jacob (U23) MCS
51 AITCHESON, Liam (U23) ART 20:42
52 GRIFFIN, Logan (U23) ORF
53 THOMASON, Jason THT 22:20
54 HUNT, Joshua OPC 22:48
55 HEANEY, Alex (U23) TSR 25:20
56 TROY, Michael GPM 27:39
57 FRAME, Alex JLT
58 FIELD, Rylee (U23) GPM
59 PHIPPS, Sam (U23) GPM 27:42
60 LEVIN, Nate (U23) BBT 28:33
61 GILMORE, Jordan NZT 29:26
62 SCHREURS, Hamish (U23) NZL DNF
64 WHITE, Nathan COB DNF
66 BAIN, Nick (U23) TSR DNF
67 MCINTOSH, Benjamin (U23) NZT DNF

General Classification after Stage 4

1 O’CONNOR, Ben (U23) ART 13:01:41
2 O’BRIEN, Mark ART 00:31
3 WILLIAMS, Stephen (U23) JLT 00:34
4 ORAM, James OPC 00:40
5 LAMPIER, Steven JLT 00:47
6 TORCKLER, Michael THT 01:01
7 VINK, Michael NZL 02:25
8 THOMAS, Scott DSR 03:46
9 KATSONIS, Nicholas (U23) SOM 03:50
10 IRVINE, Saxon DSR 03:59
11 CHRISTIE, Jason KRD 04:11
12 HOUSE, Kristian OPC 04:39
13 SMITH, Dion OPC 04:44
14 CAMERON, Tim NZT 04:45
15 SMITH, Morgan KRD 04:47
16 THOMAS, Ryan (U23) DSR 04:49
17 CROME, Sam ART 05:07
18 GORDON, Callum (U23) TSR 05:12
19 CARTER, Tom (U23) SSK 05:13
20 RUSH, Tim NZT
21 BULL, Adam (U23) SOM 05:28
22 MARRYATT, Jake (U23) BBT 05:32
23 ROWLANDS, David FMT 05:55
24 WYNNIATT, Cameron THT 06:48
25 SUTTON, Frank (U23) TSR 07:18
26 PRETE, Joshua COB 07:44
27 EVANS, Brad NZL 08:08
28 KERRISON, Jesse (U23) SOM 09:41
29 CULEY, Marcus MCS 11:40
30 NEWBERRY, Dylan (U23) DSR 12:09
31 CUMING, Michael SOM 12:30
32 MILLER, Nick KRD 13:31
33 ROBINSON, Tom SOM 14:35
34 VOLKERS, Samuel DSR 14:52
35 ATKINS, George JLT 14:54
36 HILL, Samuel (U23) GPM 15:07
37 MCCORMICK, Hayden (U23) OPC 15:50
38 CHRISTENSEN, Ryan (U23) ORF 15:53
39 MCDERMOTT, Luke MCS 17:29
41 LAWLESS, Christopher (U23) JLT 21:29
42 GOUGH, Fraser ART 21:32
43 AITCHESON, Liam (U23) ART 22:23
44 GRIFFIN, Logan (U23) ORF
45 SCHUURHUIS, Rien ORF 24:20
46 HUNT, Joshua OPC 24:29
47 NEUMANN, Mitchel COB 25:17
48 HAGAN, Andy TSR 25:47
49 HEANEY, Alex (U23) TSR 27:01
50 THOMASON, Jason THT 28:56
51 FRAME, Alex JLT 29:37
52 STANDRILL, Calvin (U23) FMT 31:13
53 LEWER, Flynn FMT 31:53
54 MORT, Logan SFT 32:54
55 FIELD, Rylee (U23) GPM 35:00
56 TROY, Michael GPM
57 CHRISTISON, Shamus (U23) SFT 36:08
58 LEVIN, Nate (U23) BBT 48:44
59 PHIPPS, Sam (U23) GPM 54:52
60 GILMORE, Jordan NZT 58:14
61 LANGHAM, Jacob (U23) MCS 1:01:29
62 SCHREURS, Hamish (U23) NZL DNF
64 WHITE, Nathan COB DNF
66 BAIN, Nick (U23) TSR DNF
67 MCINTOSH, Benjamin (U23) NZT DNF

Fagan Motors Sprints Classification

1 NEWBERRY, Dylan DSR 17
2 CUMING, Michael SOM 15
3 TORCKLER, Michael THT 6
4 VOLKERS, Samuel DSR 3
5 RUSH, Tim NZT 3
7 EVANS, Brad NZL 2
8 THOMAS, Scott DSR 2
9 GORDON, Callum TSR 2
11 MILLER, Nick KRD 1

Mitre 10 Masterton KOM

2 CROME, Sam ART 30
3 O’CONNOR, Ben ART 10
4 TORCKLER, Michael THT 8
5 O’BRIEN, Mark ART 8
6 WILLIAMS, Stephen JLT 6
7 ORAM, James OPC 4
8 THOMAS, Scott DSR 4
9 THOMAS, Ryan DSR 4
10 LAMPIER, Steven JLT 2
11 VINK, Michael NZL 2
12 SMITH, Dion OPC 2
13 BULL, Adam SOM 2
14 CUMING, Michael SOM 2
15 GRIFFIN, Logan ORF 2
16 HAGAN, Andy TSR 2

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