After nine attempts, and after being jilted twice at the altar, Michael Vink is finally a Tour of Southland champion.

It was third time lucky for the lanky Cantabrian after finishing runner-up in both 2016 and 2017, Vink clinging onto a 16sec lead during the final, frantic 77km stage from Winton to Invercargill this afternoon.

“I’m pinching myself. I’ve been close so many times and to finally finish it off in the way we did – defending the yellow jersey for three days,” Vink said.

“We lost a guy after Bluff, which was unfortunate, so for five guys to defend it against such a quality field was fantastic.”

Hamish Bond finished second overall, trailing by 16sec, with Sam Gaze third at 2min 59sec, while defending champion James Piccoli had to settle for fourth at 3min 22sec.

It was anything but a procession on the final day of the SBS Bank-sponsored race, with Vink seeing an overnight lead of 1min 32sec decimated by a fantastic individual time trial by Bond in Winton.

Like Bond, Vink is a national time trial champion, and a four-time Winton time trial winner, but he could do nothing to stop a determined Bond from putting himself in a position to win the race.

Dylan Kennett had to wait all week, but he finally claimed a stage win on the final day, photo James Jubb/Studio Jubb

“To be honest, a gap was a gap. All I had to do was follow Hamish’s wheel and if he had’ve gotten away he would have won the tour – it didn’t matter if it was 18sec or two minutes,” Vink said.

“I thought I had a really good time trial but Hamish was next level and full credit to him.”

The final stage into Invercargill was taken out by Dylan Kennett, who had been challenging for a stage win all week.

“I had to be patient. I had to take second in Te Anau, then Gore, then the TT, and third in the prologue. I was really hungry for it this afternoon,” he said.

Southland’s Matt Zenovich, a stage winner on Monday and tour leader for two days, completed a great week by claiming the Sprint Ace classification, while Paul Odlin was the race’s leading over 35 rider and Kia Motors-Ascot Park Hotel took out the teams classification.

After finishing runner-up in both of the last two editions of the race, Michael Vink has finally won the race that has so long eluded him, photo James Jubb/Studio Jubb

It was a massive week for Vink’s WPC South-Joyride Apparel squad with teammate Ethan Batt picking up both the King of the Mountain and under 23 jerseys.

There will be little time for Vink to reflect on the win, with both the Tour of Tasmania and Pioneer mountain bike race later this month, but now that he’s finally won Southland, he’s determined to come back and defend the title.

“Hopefully now it will come a bit easier. They say the first one is the hardest, I’d love to come back and have more. I love this race,” Vink said.

“There’s so much more than just a bike race going on here, it’s a real event that the whole of Southland gets behind, which is what makes it so special.”

Stage results:

1 Dylan KENNETTPlacemakers 1:31:40 (51.38 km/h)
2 Brad EVANSWPC South-Joyride Apparel ST
3 Jensen PLOWRIGHTAardvark Excavators Ltd ST
4 Corbin STRONGTeam Skoda Fruzio ST
5 Sam GAZEPowernet 00:09
6 Matt ZENOVICHPlacemakers 00:15
7 Ben OLIVEROlphert Contracting ST
8 James PICCOLIKia Motors-Ascot Park Hotel 00:18
9 Connor BROWNPowernet ST
10 Joel WALSHOlphert Contracting 00:29
11 Darcy PIROTTAVelofit-Santic Racing ST
12 Carne GROUBETotalPOS Solutions ST
13 Dan CROSSAardvark Excavators Ltd ST
14 Alex HEANEYPowernet ST
15 Sam MOBBERLEYTeam Skoda Fruzio ST
16 Scott THOMASTotalPOS Solutions ST
17 Paul ODLINPowernet ST
18 Jordan GILMORECentral Benchmakers-Willbike ST
19 Todd SATCHELLMagnesium Pur ST
20 Michael VINKWPC South-Joyride Apparel ST
21 Campbell PITHIEITM ST
22 Jasper ALBRECHTVelofit-Santic Racing ST
23 William GREENBusiness South ST
24 Sascha BONDARENKO-EDWARDSTeam Skoda Fruzio ST
25 Felix DONNELLYBusiness South ST
26 Julian THOMSONOlphert Contracting ST
27 Blake TAIT-JONESCentral Benchmakers-Willbike ST
28 Alex VOGELVet4Farm ST
29 Glenn HADENVet4Farm ST
30 Ollie JONESPowernet ST
31 Josh KUYSTENPowernet ST
32 Jordan SCHMIDTVelofit-Santic Racing ST
33 Ethan BATTWPC South-Joyride Apparel ST
34 Nick WHITEAardvark Excavators Ltd ST
35 Hamish BONDKia Motors-Ascot Park Hotel ST
36 Jesse FEATONBYAardvark Excavators Ltd ST
37 Rinze SCHUURMANSTalbot Forest Cheese-Ultimo ST
38 Brett GRIEVETalbot Forest Cheese-Ultimo ST
39 Ben ANDREWSAardvark Excavators Ltd ST
40 Kevin GIRKINSKia Motors-Ascot Park Hotel ST
41 Roman VAN UDENCreation Signs-Ronald McDonald House-Ricoh ST
42 Ryan CHRISTENSENKia Motors-Ascot Park Hotel ST
43 Mathew UPTONVelofit-Santic Racing ST
44 Steve NICHOLLSFinance Now ST
45 Thomas HUBBARDPlacemakers ST
46 Blake SUNDEAdair Craik Accountants ST
47 Tom SEXTONBusiness South ST
48 Marcus CULEYPlacemakers 00:40
49 Paul WRIGHTCentral Benchmakers-Willbike 00:42
50 Joel YATESTeam Skoda Fruzio 00:47
51 Andrew KINGWPC South-Joyride Apparel 03:10
52 Oliver MARTINWPC South-Joyride Apparel 03:23
53 Mark O’BRIENKia Motors-Ascot Park Hotel 05:03
54 James FOUCHECreation Signs-Ronald McDonald House-Ricoh ST
55 Luke MCDERMOTTCreation Signs-Ronald McDonald House-Ricoh 05:23
56 Nicholas COSTELLOITM 08:21
57 Travis KANEBusiness South 08:27
58 Michael VOGELMagnesium Pur ST
59 Antony NALDERAdair Craik Accountants ST
60 Justus ERLERAdair Craik Accountants ST
61 Corey GREENBERGMagnesium Pur ST
62 Burnie MCGRATHAdair Craik Accountants 08:30
63 Maxmillian PRIEWICHMagnesium Pur ST
64 John WANSINKITM ST
65 Guy CARTERCreation Signs-Ronald McDonald House-Ricoh ST
66 Kees DUYVESTEYNCreation Signs-Ronald McDonald House-Ricoh ST
67 Andreas BATZEKMagnesium Pur ST
68 William FINDLAYTalbot Forest Cheese-Ultimo ST
69 Tilman STEGERMagnesium Pur ST
70 Jacob LANGHAMVelofit-Santic Racing ST
71 Morgan SMITHAardvark Excavators Ltd ST
72 Tristan MARGUETVet4Farm ST
73 Josh PAGEBusiness South ST
74 Nathan BELLFinance Now ST
75 Jake MARRYATTFinance Now ST
76 Calvin STANDRILLTalbot Forest Cheese-Ultimo ST
77 Max JONESTeam Skoda Fruzio ST
78 Lionel MAWDITTTeam Skoda Fruzio ST
79 Liam CAPPELVet4Farm ST
80 Hamish KEASTPlacemakers ST
81 Brandon CONWAYOlphert Contracting ST
82 Reuben SOARESFinance Now ST
83 Nicholas MAGILLVet4Farm ST
84 Ioan FULLERTotalPOS Solutions ST
85 Joshua HAGGERTYPlacemakers ST
86 Kane RICHARDSITM 08:41
87 Tim CHAPMANCreation Signs-Ronald McDonald House-Ricoh 15:38
88 Luke SHAWTalbot Forest Cheese-Ultimo ST
89 Nicholas ROSSTotalPOS Solutions 23:21
90 Cyrus MONKKia Motors-Ascot Park Hotel DNS

General classification:

1 Michael VINKWPC South-Joyride Apparel 20:01:08
2 Hamish BONDKia Motors-Ascot Park Hotel 00:16
3 Sam GAZEPowernet 02:59
4 James PICCOLIKia Motors-Ascot Park Hotel 03:22
5 Ryan CHRISTENSENKia Motors-Ascot Park Hotel 05:47
6 Matt ZENOVICHPlacemakers 06:43
7 Ethan BATTWPC South-Joyride Apparel 06:55
8 Paul ODLINPowernet 07:23
9 Connor BROWNPowernet 09:59
10 Corbin STRONGTeam Skoda Fruzio 10:01
11 Jesse FEATONBYAardvark Excavators Ltd 10:21
12 Ben OLIVEROlphert Contracting 10:37
13 Nick WHITEAardvark Excavators Ltd 11:27
14 Glenn HADENVet4Farm 13:14
15 Alex HEANEYPowernet 16:08
16 Jordan SCHMIDTVelofit-Santic Racing 16:38
17 Campbell PITHIEITM 17:24
18 Tom SEXTONBusiness South 17:43
19 Julian THOMSONOlphert Contracting 17:56
20 Blake SUNDEAdair Craik Accountants 18:24
21 Sascha BONDARENKO-EDWARDSTeam Skoda Fruzio 19:05
22 Joel WALSHOlphert Contracting ST
23 Ben ANDREWSAardvark Excavators Ltd 19:51
24 Brad EVANSWPC South-Joyride Apparel 21:14
25 Jensen PLOWRIGHTAardvark Excavators Ltd 22:11
26 Kevin GIRKINSKia Motors-Ascot Park Hotel 22:22
27 Marcus CULEYPlacemakers 22:46
28 Steve NICHOLLSFinance Now 24:00
29 Dylan KENNETTPlacemakers 24:35
30 Joel YATESTeam Skoda Fruzio 24:39
31 Darcy PIROTTAVelofit-Santic Racing 24:56
32 Kane RICHARDSITM 27:49
33 Sam MOBBERLEYTeam Skoda Fruzio 27:52
34 James FOUCHECreation Signs-Ronald McDonald House-Ricoh 28:16
35 Mathew UPTONVelofit-Santic Racing 28:55
36 Scott THOMASTotalPOS Solutions 29:30
37 Oliver MARTINWPC South-Joyride Apparel 30:12
38 Jasper ALBRECHTVelofit-Santic Racing 30:38
39 Morgan SMITHAardvark Excavators Ltd 34:09
40 Brett GRIEVETalbot Forest Cheese-Ultimo 39:42
41 John WANSINKITM 42:16
42 Carne GROUBETotalPOS Solutions 42:37
43 Burnie MCGRATHAdair Craik Accountants 43:11
44 Kees DUYVESTEYNCreation Signs-Ronald McDonald House-Ricoh 44:13
45 Mark O’BRIENKia Motors-Ascot Park Hotel 44:49
46 Josh KUYSTENPowernet 45:37
47 Paul WRIGHTCentral Benchmakers-Willbike 46:12
48 Dan CROSSAardvark Excavators Ltd 46:53
49 Rinze SCHUURMANSTalbot Forest Cheese-Ultimo 47:15
50 Jordan GILMORECentral Benchmakers-Willbike 49:12
51 Ollie JONESPowernet 49:46
52 Todd SATCHELLMagnesium Pur 50:48
53 Thomas HUBBARDPlacemakers 51:10
54 William GREENBusiness South 53:50
55 Andrew KINGWPC South-Joyride Apparel 57:12
56 Antony NALDERAdair Craik Accountants 58:46
57 Roman VAN UDENCreation Signs-Ronald McDonald House-Ricoh 1:00:26
58 Corey GREENBERGMagnesium Pur 1:00:53
59 Jacob LANGHAMVelofit-Santic Racing 1:04:12
60 Alex VOGELVet4Farm 1:04:36
61 Michael VOGELMagnesium Pur 1:04:52
62 Jake MARRYATTFinance Now 1:05:04
63 Max JONESTeam Skoda Fruzio 1:06:30
64 Tristan MARGUETVet4Farm 1:09:24
65 Blake TAIT-JONESCentral Benchmakers-Willbike 1:09:37
66 Justus ERLERAdair Craik Accountants 1:10:32
67 Hamish KEASTPlacemakers 1:12:21
68 Felix DONNELLYBusiness South 1:13:00
69 Reuben SOARESFinance Now 1:13:57
70 Joshua HAGGERTYPlacemakers 1:16:37
71 Liam CAPPELVet4Farm 1:22:23
72 Lionel MAWDITTTeam Skoda Fruzio 1:24:10
73 Nicholas COSTELLOITM 1:26:41
74 Josh PAGEBusiness South 1:27:34
75 Nicholas MAGILLVet4Farm 1:36:28
76 Luke MCDERMOTTCreation Signs-Ronald McDonald House-Ricoh 1:36:44
77 Nathan BELLFinance Now 1:37:06
78 Calvin STANDRILLTalbot Forest Cheese-Ultimo 1:42:39
79 Tilman STEGERMagnesium Pur 1:44:07
80 Travis KANEBusiness South 1:49:06
81 Maxmillian PRIEWICHMagnesium Pur 1:49:38
82 Brandon CONWAYOlphert Contracting 1:50:23
83 Ioan FULLERTotalPOS Solutions 1:53:58
84 Guy CARTERCreation Signs-Ronald McDonald House-Ricoh 1:55:06
85 William FINDLAYTalbot Forest Cheese-Ultimo 2:01:58
86 Andreas BATZEKMagnesium Pur 2:02:20
87 Nicholas ROSSTotalPOS Solutions 2:08:10
88 Luke SHAWTalbot Forest Cheese-Ultimo 2:12:55
89 Tim CHAPMANCreation Signs-Ronald McDonald House-Ricoh 2:21:24

Sprint classification:

1 Matt ZenovichPlacemakers 67 pts
2 Alex VogelVet4Farm 37
3 James FoucheCreation Signs-Ronald McDonald House-Ricoh 37
4 Ollie JonesPowernet 29
5 Kevin GirkinsKia Motors-Ascot Park Hotel 19
6 Dylan KennettPlacemakers 18
7 Jordan GilmoreCentral Benchmakers-Willbike 17
8 Paul OdlinPowernet 15
9 Hamish BondKia Motors-Ascot Park Hotel 13
10 Jensen PlowrightAardvark Excavators Ltd 12
11 Morgan SmithAardvark Excavators Ltd 11
12 Ethan BattWPC South-Joyride Apparel 11
13 Ben OliverOlphert Contracting 8
14 Blake SundeAdair Craik Accountants 8
15 Corbin StrongTeam Skoda Fruzio 6
16 Ioan FullerTotalPOS Solutions 5
17 Scott ThomasTotalPOS Solutions 5
18 Paul WrightCentral Benchmakers-Willbike 5
19 Michael VinkWPC South-Joyride Apparel 4
20 Thomas HubbardPlacemakers 4
21 Connor BrownPowernet 4
22 Joel YatesTeam Skoda Fruzio 4
23 Kane RichardsITM 3
24 Liam CappelVet4Farm 3
25 Nick WhiteAardvark Excavators Ltd 3
26 Brad EvansWPC South-Joyride Apparel 3
27 Sam MobberleyTeam Skoda Fruzio 3
28 Oliver MartinWPC South-Joyride Apparel 3
29 Kees DuyvesteynCreation Signs-Ronald McDonald House-Ricoh 3
30 Sam GazePowernet 2
31 Roman Van UdenCreation Signs-Ronald McDonald House-Ricoh 2
32 Guy CarterCreation Signs-Ronald McDonald House-Ricoh 2
33 Tim ChapmanCreation Signs-Ronald McDonald House-Ricoh 2
34 Ryan ChristensenKia Motors-Ascot Park Hotel 1
35 Jesse FeatonbyAardvark Excavators Ltd 1
36 Sascha Bondarenko-EdwardsTeam Skoda Fruzio 1
37 Marcus CuleyPlacemakers 1
38 Mark O’BrienKia Motors-Ascot Park Hotel 1
39 Antony NalderAdair Craik Accountants 1
40 Tristan MarguetVet4Farm 1
41 Hamish KeastPlacemakers 1
42 Josh PageBusiness South 1

Mountains classification:

1 Ethan BattWPC South-Joyride Apparel 48 pts
2 Matt ZenovichPlacemakers 24
3 James PiccoliKia Motors-Ascot Park Hotel 21
4 Michael VinkWPC South-Joyride Apparel 15
5 Thomas HubbardPlacemakers 15
6 Hamish BondKia Motors-Ascot Park Hotel 15
7 Nick WhiteAardvark Excavators Ltd 10
8 Ioan FullerTotalPOS Solutions 8
9 Sam GazePowernet 8
10 Ryan ChristensenKia Motors-Ascot Park Hotel 8
11 Jensen PlowrightAardvark Excavators Ltd 6
12 Brett GrieveTalbot Forest Cheese-Ultimo 6
13 Joel YatesTeam Skoda Fruzio 6
14 Scott ThomasTotalPOS Solutions 6
15 Morgan SmithAardvark Excavators Ltd 6
16 Kevin GirkinsKia Motors-Ascot Park Hotel 5
17 Jesse FeatonbyAardvark Excavators Ltd 4
18 Tom SextonBusiness South 4
19 Brad EvansWPC South-Joyride Apparel 4
20 Alex VogelVet4Farm 4
21 Jake MarryattFinance Now 4
22 Mark O’BrienKia Motors-Ascot Park Hotel 3
23 Ben OliverOlphert Contracting 3
24 Sascha Bondarenko-EdwardsTeam Skoda Fruzio 2
25 Max JonesTeam Skoda Fruzio 2
26 Blake SundeAdair Craik Accountants 1

Young rider classification:

1 Ethan BATTWPC South-Joyride Apparel 20:08:03
2 Connor BROWNPowernet 09:59
3 Corbin STRONGTeam Skoda Fruzio 10:01
4 Nick WHITEAardvark Excavators Ltd 11:27
5 Jordan SCHMIDTVelofit-Santic Racing 16:38
6 Campbell PITHIEITM 17:24
7 Tom SEXTONBusiness South 17:43
8 Blake SUNDEAdair Craik Accountants 18:24
9 Ben ANDREWSAardvark Excavators Ltd 19:51
10 Jensen PLOWRIGHTAardvark Excavators Ltd 22:11
11 Joel YATESTeam Skoda Fruzio 24:39
12 Darcy PIROTTAVelofit-Santic Racing 24:56
13 James FOUCHECreation Signs-Ronald McDonald House-Ricoh 28:16
14 Jasper ALBRECHTVelofit-Santic Racing 30:38
15 John WANSINKITM 42:16
16 Carne GROUBETotalPOS Solutions 42:37
17 Burnie MCGRATHAdair Craik Accountants 43:11
18 Kees DUYVESTEYNCreation Signs-Ronald McDonald House-Ricoh 44:13
19 Paul WRIGHTCentral Benchmakers-Willbike 46:12
20 Alex VOGELVet4Farm 1:04:36
21 Max JONESTeam Skoda Fruzio 1:06:30
22 Hamish KEASTPlacemakers 1:12:21
23 Felix DONNELLYBusiness South 1:13:00
24 Reuben SOARESFinance Now 1:13:57
25 Liam CAPPELVet4Farm 1:22:23
26 Tilman STEGERMagnesium Pur 1:44:07
27 Brandon CONWAYOlphert Contracting 1:50:23
28 Ioan FULLERTotalPOS Solutions 1:53:58
29 Luke SHAWTalbot Forest Cheese-Ultimo 2:12:55

Team classification:

1 Kia Motors-Ascot Park Hotel 60:12:32
2 WPC South-Joyride Apparel 09:31
3 Powernet 11:25
4 Aardvark Excavators Ltd 28:28
5 Placemakers 28:42
6 Team Skoda Fruzio 29:34
7 Olphert Contracting 36:31
8 ITM 59:00
9 Velofit-Santic Racing 1:00:09
10 Vet4Farm 1:37:16
11 Adair Craik Accountants 1:37:51
12 Creation Signs-Ronald McDonald House-Ricoh 1:53:15
13 TotalPOS Solutions 1:57:00
14 Business South 2:14:07
15 Finance Now 2:31:57
16 Central Benchmakers-Willbike 2:35:56
17 Magnesium Pur 2:44:24
18 Talbot Forest Cheese-Ultimo 2:50:23

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here