Michael Vink of WPC South-Joyride Apparel is finally the SBS Bank Tour of Southland winner. It’s been a long journey, full of top tens, podium finishes and such near misses; but now at last the win is his. RoadCycling caught up with Michael to chat about his win that formed part of a truly memorable week for the team.
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For WPC South-Joyride Apparel this year’s Tour of Southland could scarcely have gotten any better. Just 4 seconds separated the team from top spot in the opening prologue team time trial, and after the stage to Coronet Peak – which Michael Vink won by more than 1.20mins – the race lead crossed to the team and stayed there. All the while Ethan Batt was busy tallying up KOM points that would eventually lead to a runaway win; but more was to come.
Stage 4 to Bluff Hill saw the first step of resurgence from KIA Motors-Ascot Park Hotel, but it emphatically displayed that Michael Vink and the WPC South-Joyride Apparel team were simply not going to relinquish yellow without one heck of a fight. That fight was handed to them as first James Piccoli and then Hamish Bond chipped away at Vink’s lead; but the race’s so-often-nearly-man was not going to budge, even when Bond’s truly sensational time trial saw all but 18 seconds of Vink’s time remain.
Here we caught up with Michael to congratulate him and reflect on his Tour of Southland.