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First Win! Loren Rowney Takes New Zealand Stage

Australian neo-pro Loren Rowney won her first UCI race yesterday when she won the second stage of the Tour of New Zealand. Rowney signed with Specialized-lululemon this year and is racing her first professional season. She is currently riding the Tour of New Zealand for the Victorian Institute of Sport.

Rowney won the stage from a sprint after she followed a move from Judith Arndt at 200 meters to go. Kristin Armstrong, riding for the U.S. national team, currently leads the overall by 15 seconds ahead of Judith Arndt and 22 seconds ahead of Evie Stevens.

Here's Rowney's account of the finale. "In the last 25km another break went over a 6km climb that had girls like Evelyn Stevens and Shara Gillow in it and no-one from my team (VIS) so Jessica Allen (Junior World Time Trial Champion) and I just drove it on the front to bring it back.

"After that the last kilometre was just crazy! The USA was putting what was left of the bunch in the gutter and then Evie (Stevens) attacked with Kristin Armstrong on her wheel. Judith (Arndt) went and so I jumped on her wheel and just went for it with 200m to go.

"I'm really excited to get this stage win, especially after such a hard race and in such good company!" (Specialized-lululemon press release.)

The Tour of New Zealand runs through Sunday.