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Vinkinator obliterates the U23 field

NatTTVinkThumb__027Jan 8th, 10. Michael Vink lived up to his Terminator themed nickname when he powered to record breaking victory in the U23 men's time trial. He was also the 2nd fastest of all riders today.




Michael Vink setting out for his record breaking time trial ©
Having only recently turned 18, Vink was one of the youngest riders competing in today's Raboplus Elite Championship time trial event.


In fact today was the very first time the Subway Avanti Pro Cycling Team rider had raced a 40km time trial making his feat even more remarkable.


Not only did Vink's time of 50m14s beat his U23 field by more than 40sec, he also broke the long standing New Zealand Elite and U23 time trial records.


However, he only held the Elite record for half an hour or so until his teammate Gordon McCauley came home 4sec faster.  


Vink did hold on to his U23 record though and even after all the Elite riders had finished, he had the second fastest ride of the day.


Greg Hume, Subway Avanti Team Manager, said he had confidence the Christchurch rider could do well in the U23 classification and also to place very highly overall.


"I was very pleased with Michael's performance. I had high hopes of him doing a great ride, and he certainly did that. To record the second fastest time for a young man who has only just turned 18 is very impressive," he said.


Vink beat out a strong field which included the two Olympians who joined him on the podium.  Westley Gough finished in 50m55s for 2nd and Jesse Sergent, who races for Trek Livestrong, in 51m57s for 3rd.


Vink flanked by Westley Gough and Jesse Sergent ©
Vink will get his own taste of international cycling in the next few months.  


He has just recently announced he's signed up with a top Belgium cycling team, Isorex, along with fellow kiwi Ruaraidh McLeod.


"This is what I've always wanted and worked towards, which makes it very exciting to know I will actually be 'living the dream'. There really is nothing more I could ask for," Vink told two weeks ago.


His new team will be thrilled with the exposure he'll bring them by competing in a NZ national champion jersey.


Vink may be new to the 40km length, but he is not new to time trial success.


"He has been winning time trials at U19 and U17 level. He is no stranger at the discipline," said Hume who confirmed Vink had been training with this title as his objective.


"His longest TT before today was 25km. Now he has stepped up and ridden a remarkable time to break the NZ record.  For Subway-Avanti to take the two best times of the day, as a manager I am very pleased."


"For Michael, it's even more remarkable, as he has only just stepped up the to U23 category, and this was his first 40km time trial."


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