Michael Vink signalled his is in fine form to start his first overseas contract next week storming home to win the 100 kilometre Christchurch to Akaroa Le Race cycle race in record time today.
Vink, 18, beat a high quality field that including his Subway – Avanti team mates Gordon McCauley, Joe Cooper, Sam Hogan and Hayden Godfrey, the experienced Paul Oldin and James Early and Brett Dawber from the Benchmark Homes team and Brad McFarlane (Thule team).
"It's really really good, not only to win today but it's even better to be the fastest overall, ever," Vink said of his winning two hours and 37 minutes record, beating the previous record of 2 hours and 39 minutes held by Jeremy Yates.
"It's always tough, it's one of the hilliest races in New Zealand. It was deceptively hard, especially the last 30 kilometres where no one can site on. This is a really good win for my Subway – Avanti team and bodes well for my trip overseas."
Five time national champion McCauley showed good climbing legs to be in the front four over the first climbs in the Port Hills above Christchurch and then managed to get away with Mark Tindle on the Summit Road approaching Gebbies Pass.
The Benchmark Homes team came to the front of the chasing bunch but failed to close the gap on the leading two riders before the start of Hilltop climb.
McCauley dropped Tindle on the tough six kilometre climb and held off the chasing Vink until the final 20 kilometres, picking up the Coffee Culture King of the Mountain competition for the men.
Odlin managed to outsprint McCauley in a tight finish for second and third, finishing one minute and fifty one seconds behind Vink. .
Retired professional Jo Buick from Christchurch upstaged pre race woman's favourite, leading Australian professional cyclist Carla Ryan from the Cervélo – Lifeforce team, Carla Ryan, winning in a record female time of two hours and 58 minutes.
"I loved it, and winning is such a nice surprise," she said. "It was great conditions, just perfect. I went in with no expectations, and the result is great."
Buick, who trains less than half the amount she did as a professional four years ago, started slowly, losing ground on Ryan up the first climb but said after settling in and finding her rhythm improved and led Ryan by just over one minute at the top of the Hilltop climb and crossed the line two minutes and 43 seconds ahead of the Australian and 2007 winner.
Third female home was Christchurch local Amanda Minty (Warmup Cycling team).
Results (net time)
Michael Vink 1 02:37:49
Paul Odlin 2 02:39:40
Gordon McCauley 3 02:39:40
Joe Cooper 4 02:39:41
Samuel Horgan 5 02:39:59
Brad McFarlane 6 02:40:01
James early 7 02:40:39
Brett Dawber 8 02:41:57
Neil Sutherland 9 02:42:46
Nathan Smith 10 02:43:28
King of the Mountain; Gordon McCauley
Joh Buick 87 1 02:58:51
Carla Ryan 97 2 03:01:34
Amanda Minty 3 03:09:22
Rebecca Rae 4 03:11:09
Carolyn Jenkins 5 03:14:14
Nimesia Smith 6 03:16:43
Laura Thompson 7 03:20:32
Aimee Burns 8 03:22:26
Kylie Rochford 9 03:23:57
Corrinne Smit 10 03:26:12
Queen of the Mountain: Joh Buick