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Villumsen & Vink Trumps in Nelson
6 Jan, 2013

Olympian Linda Villumsen lay down an early warning that she will mean business in next weeks Calder Stewart national road cycling championships.  The four-time world championship medallist has won the Tour de Vineyards near Nelson this week.
Canterburys Michael Vink, who won the under-23 and overall honours in the national championships last year, showed he is approaching top form in winning the overall mens honours.
He finished 1:04 ahead of Garmin Sharp Barracuda professional Jack Bauer with fellow under-23 rider Hamish Schreurs (Benchmark Homes) at 1.30 in third while Radioshack Nissan Trek pro George Bennett was fourth.
Villumsen, who recently announced she will remain New Zealand-based in 2013, was surprised at her form at this time of year.
"I am doing big mileage and I do not ride well until much later in the year. My target is the world championships in September so this was a surprise, a nice surprise though."
"I did not win a stage and I was not too fast but I guess I was smarter and kept out of trouble."
She finished seven seconds clear of fellow New Zealand representative Emma Crum, the France-based Auckland pro, with Jeannie Kahukjek, the Nelson scientist-cum Vanderkitten (USA) pro, 26 seconds back in third.
Both Vink and Villumsen took charge on the second stage and held off the late charge from Bauer and Crum respectively to claim the weeklong stage race.
Wellingtons David Rowlands took out the Masters honours from Aaron Strong (Counties Manukau) and Warrick Spence (Tasman).
The Tour de Vineyards comprises an opening 55km crit (40km for women), a 128km Queen stage finishing at the top of Takaka Hill, a 128km circuit (105km women) in Moutere and final 74km circuit stage around the Woollaston Estates in Upper Moutere.
Elite women: Linda Villumsen (Thule, GreenEDGE) 10:26.40, 1; Emma Crum at 7s, 2; Jeannie Kuhajek (Soul Star) at 26s, 3; Haley Mercer (Benchmark Homes) at 36s, 4; Ashley Neave at 51s, 5.
Elite men: Michael Vink (Scotty Browns) 9:46.47, 1; Jack Bauer (Garmin Sharp) at 1:04, 2; Hamish Schreurs (Benchmark Homes) at 1:30, 3; George Bennett (Radioshack Nissan Trek) at 2:18, 4; James Early (Benchmark Homes) at 3:24. 5.


Click to enlarge...

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