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PowerNet Tour of Southland - 2.2

New Zealand, November 7-12, 2005

Lieswyn back for Tour of Southland

By Alan Messenger

2004 winner John Lieswyn
Photo ©: Barry Harcourt
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Last year's winner, US professional John Lieswyn leads a strong Southland Times team in the PowerNet Tour of Southland, which gets under way from Invercargill in New Zealand's South Island on Monday, November 7 and finishes back in the city on the following Saturday, November 12.

But Lieswyn gave out a word of warning on his prospects this year. The likeable American has been changing the focus of his cycling career and will in the future be based in New Zealand. "I've had a lot of life changes with the shift to New Zealand and haven't been on the bike much for six weeks. I'm going into the race underdone but I received a lot of encouragement from finishing fourth in the K2 yesterday," he said.

Lieswyn emphasized that he would very well play a support role this year. "I don't feel that I could win this year but I'm going to be there for Glen (Mitchell). We have been personal friends for a long time and he worked hard for me last year so I hope I can help him this year."

The other team members, all very capable of winning the Tour are: US based Mitchell, former world track champion Greg Henderson and New Zealand track squad riders Peter Latham and Tim Gudsell. Mitchell, second in last year's tour, won the North Island K2 Classic last Saturday after finishing second in the national road championship the previous week. He won the Southland Tour in 2000 and a repeat this year would certainly not surprise.

Henderson has made a big impression as a road rider in the USA this year and he recently won the Australian Grafton to Inverell Classic. Latham is a newcomer to the team, replacing 2003 winner Scott Guyton. He is rated New Zealand's hottest young cycling prospect after taking the bronze medal in the under 23 time trial at the world road championships at Madrid this year. Last year in the tour, riding for the Rabobank team, he won the individual time trial stage and took out the under 23 overall classification.