Outside the old post office on Dee street September 27 1956, Invercargill Mayor, Mr Abraham Wachner fired the starting pistol for the very first tour of Southland, beginning a strong and steady tradition to celebrate Invercargill’s centenary.
Initially a three day cycling event covering gravel roads through wild winds, the tour was certainly a test of any riders endurance and began attracting high profile cyclists while also inspiring those local to Invercargill.
The first tour was won by Dunedin cyclist Kelvin Hastie, and many NZ champion cyclists have followed suit. It has since become an important component in the careers of many competitive New Zealand cyclists. In 1995 the Tour transitioned to a team’s event keeping up with how international cycling had evolved. As of 2002 The Tour of Southland has been registered a category 2.2 UCI international Tour.
Today most Invercargill share an unofficial understanding that when the tour is coming past your door, to go out, make some noise and catch the cyclists zipping past.
Pictures in this article show the Tour in different stages throughout time.
More of Tour of Southland.