Patrick McKendry is a rugby and boxing writer for the Herald.

Cycling: Australian Earle wins NZ Cycle Classic

Australian Nathan Earle has enjoyed the biggest win of his career in taking out the New Zealand Cycle Classic today.

Earle's team took control of the final stage of the five-day race around the roads of Manawatu, a 112km journey which finished in Palmerston North.

Former junior world champion Thomas Palmer, another Australian, won the stage ahead of New Zealanders Patrick Bevin and Clinton Avery.

Earle, 24, finished safely in the peloton for the overall victory.

"I was a little nervous earlier in the day, but again my team were faultless, they covered everything for me, we had to work hard early but once that break was established we just controlled the peloton," he said.

The race, the former Tour of Wellington, was something of a benefit for Australia, with Earle's compatriots Benjamin Dyball and William Walker finishing second and third on general classification.

General classification: Nathan Earle (Huon Salmon Genesys Wealth Advisers) 13hr 35 min 29sec, 1; Benjamin Dyball (HSGWA) at 1m 16s, 2; William Walker (Drapac Professional Cycling) at 1m 19s, 3.


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