Leading series in Southland

Southland's rich cycling history will receive a further boost when New Zealand’s leading team-based series is held in the region for the first time.

The opening round of the Calder Stewart Series, the Southland Classic, in Wyndham tomorrow will feature the country’s best domestic-based riders in elite, masters and women’s events.

Last year’s elite men’s series winner, Dunedin-based university student Kees Duyvesteyn, has not raced or trained since crashing in Australia’s Herald Sun Tour last month but he remains hopeful of starting tomorrow.

"I’m still deciding whether or not to race due to the injury I have been fighting since the Sun Tour in early February. My role this year in the New Zealand Cycling Project team will be to help the younger riders chase a result in the series so it will be good to help out where I can," he said.

Leading riders in the elite men’s field include junior world track champion Bailey O’Donnell, Matt Zenovich and Ollie Jones.

The elite men race over 141km while the masters will cover 101km.

The series has introduced a new tighter format this year. The five South Island events take place from tomorrow until the Hell of the South near Christchurch on May 10.

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