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Cooper grabs yellow jersey

By Jake Beleski

[email protected]

An eventful stage four of the New Zealand Cycle Classic brought wild weather, a second consecutive stage win for JLT Condor, and a new overall leader.

Yesterday’s 143km ride passed through all five of Wairarapa’s towns and finished in Martinborough for the second day in a row.

Wild weather, including horizontal rain and fierce cross-winds, played a significant role in the stage.

The race has a new general classification leader after James Oram of the New Zealand National Team relinquished the yellow jersey to three-time New Zealand road racing champion Joseph Cooper of IsoWhey Sports Swiss Wellness.

Martinborough proved to be a popular finishing location for JLT Condor as they claimed their second consecutive stage win when Briton Jonathan Mould crossed the line in 3 hours 5 minutes 57 seconds.

Runner-up was Australian Jordan Kerby (Cobra9 Interbuild Racing) and third place went to Cooper.

Oram did retain his King of the Mountains jersey, as he remained on 18 points with Australian Sam Crome (IsoWhey Sports Swiss Wellness) in second on 14 points.

Ryan Thomas (Oliver’s Real Food Racing) remains in pole position in the sprint classification on nine points, followed by Kerby (six points).

In the hotly-contested under-23 category, Logan Griffin (Oliver’s Real Food Racing) did enough to wrangle the jersey from Alex West (Team Skoda), and now holds a lead of 1 minute 29 seconds heading into the final stage.

In the team classification, IsoWhey Swiss Sports Wellness continue to set the pace, and hold a lead of 2 minutes 34 seconds over the New Zealand National Team.

The much-fancied JLT Condor team are a further three minutes back in third place.

Meanwhile, Wairarapa’s only local rider, Jack Sowry, has been relishing the challenge of competing in his third cycle classic.

“It’s been really good,” Sowry said of the race so far.

“The first two days were bloody tough, especially with the wind and hills, but [Tuesday’s] ride was a lot better.”

Race director Jorge Sandoval had stated this was the best field ever assembled for the event, and Sowry agreed that the level of competition had gone up a notch this time around.

“I think this is the hardest one I’ve done.

“The whole field is level and with JLT Condor and IsoWhey here it’s crazy.”

Sowry said his goal before the final two stages was to protect teammate Alex West, who wore the under-23 leader’s jersey after the first three stages.

He lost the jersey to Griffin yesterday, and it will take a special team effort in today’s final stage to get it back.

The fifth and final stage is 12 laps of a 10km circuit, starting and ending at Mitre 10 Mega in Masterton.


  1. Maybe the best and biggest event I seen in Wairarapa. Come especially to watch the race, very well organised, good riders etc, well done Wairarapa for such a great event.

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