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Vinkinator strikes again to win Le Race

NatsVinkThumbMar 20th, 10.  On Tuesday 18 year old Michael Vink smashed a long standing time trial record, today he broke another course record when he soloed to win Christchurch to Akaroa's Le Race.




Michael Vink continues to impress ©Le Race
After smashing Brian Fowler's 16 year old record for the 16km Old Tai Tapu Road time time course this week, Vink told he was even more excited about Le Race.   


With his strong performance today the Subway-Avanti rider proved yet again why he is the future of New Zealand cycling.


"It's really, really good, not only to win today but it's even better to be the fastest overall, ever," Vink said after finishing the 100km course in 2h37m and overtaking Jeremy Yates record time by almost 2m.


The Christchurch rider, who heads off to join the international racing scene for the first time next week, won decisively.  


As he did at the Elite Nationals in January, Vink spent much of the race out the front alone. However, this time he made sure he was still in the lead at the finish line.  


He finished 1m51s head of Paul Odlin who outsprinted Gordon McCauley for 2nd.


"It's always tough, it's one of the hilliest races in New Zealand. It was deceptively hard, especially the last 30 kilometres," said Vink about his long solo run to the line.  "This is a really good win for my Subway – Avanti team and bodes well for my trip overseas."


Former New Zealand Road 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.


McCauley dropped Tindle on the tough 6km climb picking up the Coffee Culture King of the Mountain competition for the men before his teammate took over the front and won the victory.


Women's record also falls at Le Race

Retired professional Joh Buick from Christchurch won the women's race also in record time.  She finished in a time of 2h58m.


"I loved it, and winning is such a nice surprise," Buick 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 when she was a professional rider four years ago, started slowly. She lost ground to current pro rider, and multi-time Australian Road Champion, Carla Ryan up the first climb.


However, after settling in and finding her rhythm she improved and led Ryan by just over one minute at the top of the Hilltop climb and crossed the line 2m43s ahead of the Le Race 2007 winner.


Results for Le Race


Men Women
  1. Michael Vink 2:37:49
  2. Paul Odlin 2:39:40
  3. Gordon McCauley 2:39:40
  4. Joe Cooper 2:39:41
  5. Sam Horgan 2:39:59
  6. Brad McFarlane 2:40:01
  7. James Early 2:40:39
  8. Brett Dawber 2:41:57
  9. Neil Sutherland 2:42:46
  10. Nathan Smith 2:43:28                       .
  1. Joh Buick 2:58:51
  2. Carla Ryan 3:01:34
  3. Amanda Minty 3:09:22
  4. Rebecca Rae 3:11:09
  5. Carolyn Jenkins 3:14:14
  6. Nimesha Smith 3:16:43
  7. Laura Thompson 3:20:32
  8. Aimee Burns 3:22:26
  9. Kylie Rochford 3:23:57
  10. Corrinne Smit 3:26:12
      KOM: Gordon McCauley       QOM: Joh Buick



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