Whanganui cyclist Glenn Haden is very satisfied with his first attempt at New Zealand's preeminent cycling race tour.
Haden completed the SBS Bank Tour of Southland last Saturday after six days and over 850km of gruelling road racing.
Racing with Team VFF, ultimately Haden finished 14th overall in the General Classification lists, and made a podium as runnerup in the Silver Jersey (35+ years old) division.
He had only just arrived back in New Zealand after competing in the Tour of New Caledonia at the end of October.
"So been a big three weeks," Haden said in a Facebook message.
The stages of the Southland tour go out from Invercargill in various directions over the six stages, where professional teams work together to get their best riders up the front on the race to the likes of Bluff, Coronet Peak and Gore.
"Was leading that [Silver] division after the midway point up Coronet Peak stage and sitting 11th General Classification," Haden said.
"A poor tactical decision and a untimely puncture kept me from sneaking a Top 10 overall but as a whole the tour was very successful in my first attempt and took away some valuable experience for next year.
"Unbelievably horrendous weather conditions, along with strong teams driving the race make for some tough days.
"Real character building stuff."
Haden is the ultimate two-wheel man, being a top competitor for the Wanganui Cycling Club, Wanganui Mountain Bike Club, and formally motorbikes in the Suzuki Series and the Cemetery Circuit.
The Tour of Southland was won by Canterbury's Michael Vink after nine attempts and coming runnerup in 2016-17.
Double Olympic gold medallist rower and Commonwealth Games bronze medal cyclist Hamish Bond was runnerup, with Tokoroa's junior world champion Sam Gaze in third and defending tour champion James Piccoli fourth.