3 Nov 2014

Cooper to wear yellow jersey

6:19 am on 3 November 2014

The Wellington cyclist Joe Cooper will wear the tour leaders yellow jersey into the first stage of the Tour of Southland after his Avanti team won the prologue team time trial.

Joe Cooper of Subway Avanti.

Joe Cooper of Subway Avanti. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Cooper, returning as one of the Tour favourites again this year, completed the 4.2km lap of Invercargill's Queens Park in 4 minutes, 57 seconds in wet, greasy conditions.

Showing strong team form, Avanti Racing finished four seconds clear of Kia Motors - Ascot Park with Breads of Europe - All About Plumbing 11 seconds behind the leaders.

Cooper says everyone in the team felt like their legs turned up for the 4km circuit and they just focussed on taking the corners with a bit of caution as they felt like they were aquaplaning at times.

He says they'd prefer the weather to stay extremely windy, it would be good for the Australian guys to be broken down a bit and experience the extreme weather that we all know the tour is known for - perhaps with a bit of hail thrown in as well."

Cooper says the 168km stage 1 from Invercargill to Gore today will be a day of survival and all about staying warm with the weather looking to cut up and be seriously colder.