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Michael Vink shares win with teammate
May 30th, 12. Under 23 NZ road champion Michael Vink finished second in Tour de Cote d'Or over the weekend, tied on time with his teammate who took the overall tour title.
Vink's VL Technics Abutriek teammate Kirill Pozdnyakov was awarded the tour title, with Vink winning the Best Young Rider competition.
The 20 year old has been based in Belgium since March. Illness early on in his European campaign saw him forced to withdraw from the Tour of Flanders, but he recently showed he is back in form winning the King of the Mountains jersey at the Triptyque Ardennais in Belgium.
The VL Technics Aburtriek team dominated the four stage Tour de Cote d'Or, with good positioning and a strong team netting them multiple victories.
"It wasn't easy. I think there two or three foreign teams there, the rest were all French teams so it is a them against us sort of mentality," Vink told RoadCycling.co.nz
In the opening stage, Vink and three of his teammates finished in the 27-strong lead group that put 5min into the rest of the field over the 158km stage.
The second stage was an 18km team time trial which VL Technics Aburtriek blitzed winning by 6sec ahead of the World Cycling Centre team. This effort saw Vink's teammate Dimiti Peyskens jump into the leader's jersey.
"With the TTT only the second stage the team as all together on the GC and far ahead of the others, so we had to spend the read of the tour defending our lead."
At the conclusion of the third stage after the team had kept safe in the peloton during the 100km race, the first four riders on the GC were VL Technics Abutriek riders including Vink. All four riders were on the same time, their nearest rival 5sec behind.
"The last stage was the hardest with the most climbs. Pozdnyakov and myself were the climbers in the team so it came down that we were the two to follow, we kept it together.
Vink and Pozdnyakov followed the right move on the fourth and final 136km stage, being part of the 12 rider breakaway that finished 2min ahead of the rest of the field, securing them the two top podium steps.
Romain Lebreton (Velo Sport Chartrain Cyclisme) rounded out the podiun 5sec back.
It was the team's first tour win this season, and another jersey for Vink to add to his growing collection.
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