Aussie conquers Tour of Southland

Mitchell Lovelock-Fay has become the first Australian in 50 years to win the Tour of Southland, safely retaining the yellow jersey in today's final stage, a 87km ride from Winton to Invercargill.

Mitchell Lovelock-Fay

Less than a minute seperated the top four riders heading into the final stage, and despite Michael Torckler opening up a near-minute advantage as part of an early break, Avanti Racing Team rider Lovelock-Fay managed to secure his grip on first place.

"To be able to pull off the win is exciting for me knowing I have a big season ahead of me next year and to come off the season with a big high," he said.

Lovelock-Fay admitted taking the yellow jersey out of New Zealand was a spur for success.

"That just pushed me a bit harder this morning and this afternoon to beat those odds of not being able to win because I'm not a New Zealander."

The stage was won by Otago's Brad Evans, while the morning's 13km individual time trial in Winton was claimed by Joe Cooper.

Hayden McCormick finished as the top under-23 rider.