Hen­der­son not rid­ing Tour of South­land

The Southland Times - - SPORT - SCOTT DON­ALD­SON

Ex­pe­ri­enced New Zealand cy­clist Greg Hen­der­son will not be grac­ing the Tour of South­land with his pres­ence in 2017.

The 41-year-old, who re­tired from pro­fes­sional cy­cling ear­lier this year, had pre­vi­ously ex­pressed an in­ter­est in re­turn­ing to the Tour of South­land as a swan­song.

How­ever, he will in­stead be coach­ing the United States track cy­cling team at World Cup events this year.

The Otago rider rep­re­sented New Zealand at five Olympics and four Com­mon­wealth Games, while he also com­peted in five Tour de France races, and picked up a gold medal on the track at the 2004 world cham­pi­onships in Mel­bourne and his pres­ence will be missed in the 2017 race.

‘‘Greg Hen­der­son is ar­guably the great­est cy­clist to come out of the south and we were hop­ing he could cap off an out­stand­ing cy­cling ca­reer at the SBS Tour of South­land. How­ever, some ex­cit­ing ca­reer op­por­tu­ni­ties have meant Hendy won’t be com­ing here this year,’’ tour di­rec­tor Bruce Ross said.

‘‘The re­ally ex­cit­ing thing for us is to look at the 2017 start list, which will be com­pleted soon, and try and pre­dict who the next Greg Hen­der­son, Hay­den Roul­ston, Ge­orge Ben­nett or Jack Bauer will be. This is the New Zealand bike race where fu­ture grand tour rid­ers are born.’’

Hen­der­son has picked up 16 stage wins on the Tour of South­land, but never fin­ished with the yel­low jer­sey.

He se­cured his first stage win in 2003 and claimed the over­all points clas­si­fi­ca­tion jer­sey in 2004, while he last com­peted in 2010.

The 2017 Tour of South­land starts on Sun­day, Oc­to­ber 29, and fin­ishes on Satur­day, Novem­ber 4.


Greg Hen­der­son of New Zealand in ac­tion dur­ing stage six of the Tour of Cal­i­for­nia ear­lier this year.

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