Southland cyclist dominates

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Southland rider Marshall Erwood (12) dominated the under-13 combined boys’ and girls’ section on the “Beast of the East” leg of the 50km Junior Tour of Southland at the weekend.

The leg started and finished at the Te Tipua hall near Gore.

Erwood, from Invercargill, was the only rider to maintain a lead from the start.

He was also one of the only Southland riders to come out on top.

Erwood came sixth in the second-last leg, the inner city criterium, held in Invercargill on Sunday morning, but did enough during the 14km Grove Bush afternoon stage to ensure he finished with the win.

Erwood also won the sprint and King of the Mountain jersey.

The “Beast of the East” leg included a tough hill, Erwood said.

His tactic for success was positivity.

“I will stay positive, dig deep and try to win,” he said.

Southland under-19 women’s rider Sophie-Leigh Bloxham won the sprint jersey for her age group.

Under-19 men’s Southland rider Corbin Strong shadowed Christchurch rider and under-19 men’s winner Bailey O’Donnell throughout the tour but despite a win in the final stage, he had to settle for second place.