Subway – Avanti Pro Cycling Team’s Michael Vink rode away from the field on the last stage to secure a win in the MCB Tour in France at the weekend.
The National Under 23 Time Trial champion left New Zealand in late March for a six month contract racing for a Belgium Club in Europe, and has been in impressive form.
Vink, 18, dominated the Tour which was held was in the Champagne region of France, winning two stages, including the 14 kilometre time trial which he won by one minute.
The first day had one road stage and Vink’s aggressive riding saw the bunch split into many small groups.
“I got away near the end but was caught with a hundred metres to go and ended up third,” he said.
The following day’s 14 kilometre time trial meant he took the tour leader’s Yellow Jersey into the tour’s final stage in the afternoon.
“There were lots of attack and attempts to try and crack me by the French teams as I think we were the only non French team.”
Seven riders managed to get away early in the stage and when the gap was out to one minute and 30 seconds with 60 kilometres to go Vink said he “decided to take matters into my own hands.”
He rode off the front of the chasing bunch and only three riders managed to go with him. After 15 kilometres they caught the leaders and after assessing how they looked, Vink made his winning move.
“When we caught the break I could see they were all pretty tired or were just soft pedalling, so I went straight to the front to drive the break the remaining 45 kilometres of the stage as it's easier to defend in a group of 10 than a bunch of over 100.”
Vink found he was the strongest of the remaining riders and ride off the front to win the stage by one and the overall tour by two minutes.
He was also second in both the King of the Mountain and sprint ace competitions and his team also finished first based on his two minute overall general classification result.