Completing the Tour of Southland is no easy feat. Entering this 540-mile cycling race means signing up for what is arguably the Southern Hemisphere's biggest cycling tour. While cycling through New Zealand’s extraordinarily beautiful deep south might sound delightful – it takes a lot of energy and stamina to race through it for seven days. And that’s why we sponsor NZ Cycling Project – so that their bodies are supported throughout the race, on a cellular level.
“The weather is just so unpredictable”, says James Canny, NZ Cycling Project’s Team Leader. “The stages are hard. The way I explain it to the young riders: it’s like a one-day race, every day. You’ve kind of got to leave it all out there.”
“Recovery in a race like this is so vital”, explains team member Ben Oliver. “We’re racing seven days, as hard as we can”.
It’s not NZ Cycling Project and MitoQ’s first Tour of Southland – the team came away with two jerseys last year. So it was no surprise that this year we had more than one rider on the winner’s stage to accept trophies and jerseys. George Jackson earned the Sprint Ace jersey – a jersey awarded to the rider with the most sprints - for which he not only received the crowd’s applause, but also the traditional team spraying of beer for the team's best performance of the week! Tour debutant Josh Burnett won the trophy for first Southlander in the General Classification standings. Then Paul Wright, last year’s King of the Mountains champion, won the jersey for the Most Combative rider on the final stage.
As the final times and places were tallied for the General Classification results – Jack Drage (9th) and Josh Burnett (10th) cracked the top ten, overall. The team arrived home in 2nd place overall, making the 65th edition of the Tour of Southland one of the team's most successful!
“Without sponsors, a team like NZ Cycling Project wouldn’t be able to exist”, tells Josh. “We’re really fortunate to be represented by some cool New Zealand brands – especially a brand like MitoQ. It’s definitely taken us to a whole new level.”