Michael Vink came into this year’s Tour of Southland under the radar, but that has all changed now.  The 26-year-old Cantabrian made the torturous 12km Coronet Peak climb look like an escalator at the end of a 138km stage from Mossburn to Queenstown today to take a 1min 20sec lead overall at the midway point of the SBS Bank-sponsored race.

“The key today was having an easy ride the last two days. The team has looked after me so, so well and I hit the bottom of the climb really fresh,” Vink said.

“It’s a sedate stage until you hit the bottom of the climb, but I knew that the legs were good.”

Vink has been one of the top riders on the New Zealand cycling scene for a decade, including finishing third overall and leading under 23 rider in the 2012 Southland tour, and runner-up for the past two years.

KIA Motors-Ascot Park Hotel lead the way at the front of the peloton in stage 3, photo James Jubb/Studio Jubb

A seven-strong breakaway led by under 23 Australian rider Jensen Plowright (Aardvark Excavators) took the tour through northern Southland and around picturesque Lake Wakatipu, edging out to a lead of nearly 4mins.

Plowright would eventually take on the Coronet Peak climb alone, before being joined by Vink, Hamish Bond, Sam Gaze and Lionel Mawditt.

Vink bossed the climb to finish well over a minute ahead of Commonwealth Games gold medallist mountain biker Gaze, with Bond third.

A niggly crash in the shadow of the climb threw a scare into the peloton, and then defending champion James Piccoli crashed heavily at the hard right hand corner leading into the climb.  He eventually recovered his bike and tried to mount a brave last ditch assault, but it’s likely the popular Canadian’s title defence is over for this year.

Overnight leader Matt Zenovich managed to limit his losses on the climb, but still slipped to 12th place overall.

Southland’s Corbin Strong impressed on the hill, the world junior team pursuit champion finishing sixth.

Vink (WPC South-Joyride Apparel) has put himself in position to win the Southland tour before, but has missed crucial breaks at crucial times.

This year he believes he has the team around him to cling on to a yellow jersey which has proved slippery in the past, with a 1min 20sec lead over teammate Oliver Martin, Gaze third at 1min 21sec and Bond fourth at 1min 34sec.

Weather conditions appeared much more favourable for the field in stage 3, photo James Jubb/Studio Jubb

“It’s always good to have a lead, but things can change so quickly so we have to be on our game if we want to hold it. I’ve been in this position before so I know what to do and we’ll be ready for it.”

In Vink’s favour is the fact he has won tomorrow’s stage from Invercargill to Bluff Hill before and he can draw on the experience of 2015 tour winner Brad Evans in the team beside him.

“It’s really nice having Brad as road captain. In other years I’ve been GC rider and captain, which is a hard thing to juggle. I think finishing with six guys in the prologue on the first day, and riding such a quick time was a really good sign straight off the bat. The boys have had a pretty good run so far so they’ll be ready to unleash tomorrow.”

Auckland’s Connor Brown leads the under 23 classification by 22sec from Strong, while Zenovich leads the Sprint Ace standings, and Ethan Batt the King of the Mountains.

Glenn Haden has moved into the lead in the over 35 classification, with WPC South-Joyride Apparel the leading team.

Tomorrow’s fourth stage is 148km from Invercargill to Bluff Hill, finishing at about 2.15pm.

Michael Vink powers his way up Coronet Peak and into the overall lead, photo James Jubb/Studio Jubb

Stage results:

1 Michael VINKWPC South-Joyride Apparel 3:44:25 (37.43 km/h)
2 Sam GAZEPowernet 01:21
3 Hamish BONDKia Motors-Ascot Park Hotel 01:23
4 Connor BROWNPowernet 01:51
5 Oliver MARTINWPC South-Joyride Apparel 02:03
6 Corbin STRONGTeam Skoda Fruzio ST
7 Jesse FEATONBYAardvark Excavators Ltd 02:18
8 Nick WHITEAardvark Excavators Ltd 02:26
9 Ben OLIVEROlphert Contracting 02:29
10 Jake MARRYATTFinance Now 02:36
11 Lionel MAWDITTTeam Skoda Fruzio 03:00
12 Glenn HADENVet4Farm 03:05
13 Ryan CHRISTIANSENKia Motors-Ascot Park Hotel 03:13
14 James PICCOLIKia Motors-Ascot Park Hotel 03:20
15 Ethan BATTWPC South-Joyride Apparel 03:51
16 Kees DUYVESTEYNCreation Signs-Ronald McDonald House-Ricoh ST
17 Matias FITZWATERVet4Farm 04:12
18 Paul ODLINPowernet 04:27
19 Marcus CULEYPlacemakers ST
20 Matt ZENOVICHPlacemakers ST
21 Campbell PITHIEITM 04:36
22 Jordan SCHMIDTVelofit-Santic Racing 04:59
23 Shaun FALZARANOITM 05:01
24 Brandon CONWAYOlphert Contracting 05:30
25 Sascha BONDARENKO-EDWARDSTeam Skoda Fruzio 05:35
26 Ben CARMENWPC South-Joyride Apparel 05:44
27 Julian THOMSONOlphert Contracting ST
28 Tom SEXTONBusiness South 05:53
29 Steve NICHOLLSFinance Now ST
30 Kane RICHARDSITM 06:03
31 Ben ANDREWSAardvark Excavators Ltd 06:05
32 Darcy PIROTTAVelofit-Santic Racing 06:13
33 Alex HEANEYPowernet 07:06
34 Reuben SOARESFinance Now ST
35 Daniel ALCOCKITM ST
36 Jordan GILMORECentral Benchmakers-Willbike 07:09
37 Mathew UPTONVelofit-Santic Racing 07:25
38 Sam MOBBERLEYTeam Skoda Fruzio ST
39 Joel WALSHOlphert Contracting 07:30
40 Blake SUNDEAdair Craik Accountants 07:39
41 Antony NALDERAdair Craik Accountants 08:04
42 John WANSINKITM 08:18
43 Brad EVANSWPC South-Joyride Apparel 08:48
44 Jasper ALBRECHTVelofit-Santic Racing ST
45 William GREENBusiness South 08:52
46 Todd SATCHELLMagnesium Pur 08:57
47 Alex WESTTotalPOS Solutions 09:33
48 Carne GROUBETotalPOS Solutions 09:43
49 Kevin GIRKINSKia Motors-Ascot Park Hotel 10:06
50 Jensen PLOWRIGHTAardvark Excavators Ltd 10:22
51 Jacob LANGHAMVelofit-Santic Racing 10:31
52 William FINDLAYTalbot Forest Cheese-Ultimo 10:33
53 Ioan FULLERTotalPOS Solutions 10:41
54 Blake TAIT-JONESCentral Benchmakers-Willbike 10:59
55 Michael VOGELMagnesium Pur 11:22
56 Rinze SCHUURMANSTalbot Forest Cheese-Ultimo ST
57 Justus ERLERAdair Craik Accountants ST
58 Dan CROSSAardvark Excavators Ltd 12:00
59 Liam CAPPELVet4Farm 12:45
60 Josh KUYSTENPowernet ST
61 James FOUCHECreation Signs-Ronald McDonald House-Ricoh ST
62 Mark O’BRIENKia Motors-Ascot Park Hotel ST
63 Morgan SMITHAardvark Excavators Ltd 13:28
64 Felix DONNELLYBusiness South ST
65 Tilman STEGERMagnesium Pur 13:41
66 Dylan KENNETTPlacemakers 13:55
67 Luke SHAWTalbot Forest Cheese-Ultimo 14:39
68 Joel YATESTeam Skoda Fruzio 14:52
69 Cyrus MONKKia Motors-Ascot Park Hotel 14:59
70 Brett GRIEVETalbot Forest Cheese-Ultimo 15:15
71 Ollie JONESPowernet 15:25
72 Andreas BATZEKMagnesium Pur 15:30
73 Nathan BELLFinance Now 15:31
74 Max JONESTeam Skoda Fruzio 15:37
75 James KRZANICHOlphert Contracting 15:45
76 Luke MCDERMOTTCreation Signs-Ronald McDonald House-Ricoh 16:07
77 Nicholas COSTELLOITM 16:11
78 Oliver YOUNGAdair Craik Accountants 16:28
79 Burnie MCGRATHAdair Craik Accountants 16:29
80 Hamish KEASTPlacemakers ST
81 Corey GREENBERGMagnesium Pur 16:38
82 Thomas HUBBARDPlacemakers 17:17
83 Scott THOMASTotalPOS Solutions ST
84 Andrew KINGWPC South-Joyride Apparel ST
85 Calvin STANDRILLTalbot Forest Cheese-Ultimo ST
86 Paul WRIGHTCentral Benchmakers-Willbike ST
87 Maxmillian PRIEWICHMagnesium Pur 18:08
88 Travis KANEBusiness South 19:02
89 Josh PAGEBusiness South ST
90 Nicholas MAGILLVet4Farm 19:04
91 Alex VOGELVet4Farm 19:06
92 Nicholas ROSSTotalPOS Solutions 22:55
93 Roman VAN UDENCreation Signs-Ronald McDonald House-Ricoh 23:40
94 Guy CARTERCreation Signs-Ronald McDonald House-Ricoh 26:22
95 Joshua HAGGERTYPlacemakers 27:14
96 Tim CHAPMANCreation Signs-Ronald McDonald House-Ricoh 28:15
97 Tristan MARGUETVet4Farm 29:02
98 Bryce LANIGANVelofit-Santic Racing DNF

 

General classification after stage 3:

1 Michael VINKWPC South-Joyride Apparel 11:00:22
2 Oliver MARTINWPC South-Joyride Apparel 01:20
3 Sam GAZEPowernet 01:21
4 Hamish BONDKia Motors-Ascot Park Hotel 01:34
5 Connor BROWNPowernet 01:57
6 Corbin STRONGTeam Skoda Fruzio 02:19
7 Jesse FEATONBYAardvark Excavators Ltd 02:32
8 Nick WHITEAardvark Excavators Ltd 02:37
9 Ben OLIVEROlphert Contracting 02:54
10 Ryan CHRISTIANSENKia Motors-Ascot Park Hotel 03:28
11 Glenn HADENVet4Farm 03:29
12 Matt ZENOVICHPlacemakers 03:35
13 James PICCOLIKia Motors-Ascot Park Hotel ST
14 Ethan BATTWPC South-Joyride Apparel 04:00
15 Kees DUYVESTEYNCreation Signs-Ronald McDonald House-Ricoh 04:10
16 Paul ODLINPowernet 04:33
17 Matias FITZWATERVet4Farm 04:36
18 Shaun FALZARANOITM 05:36
19 Campbell PITHIEITM 05:39
20 Sascha BONDARENKO-EDWARDSTeam Skoda Fruzio 05:50
21 Ben CARMENWPC South-Joyride Apparel 05:54
22 Julian THOMSONOlphert Contracting 06:09
23 Tom SEXTONBusiness South 06:19
24 Kane RICHARDSITM 06:27
25 Ben ANDREWSAardvark Excavators Ltd 06:37
26 Alex HEANEYPowernet 07:12
27 Jordan SCHMIDTVelofit-Santic Racing 07:26
28 Joel WALSHOlphert Contracting 07:55
29 Blake SUNDEAdair Craik Accountants 08:06
30 Brad EVANSWPC South-Joyride Apparel 08:58
31 Kevin GIRKINSKia Motors-Ascot Park Hotel 09:39
32 Alex WESTTotalPOS Solutions 09:54
33 Carne GROUBETotalPOS Solutions 10:04
34 Jensen PLOWRIGHTAardvark Excavators Ltd 11:08
35 Jake MARRYATTFinance Now 11:19
36 Lionel MAWDITTTeam Skoda Fruzio 11:30
37 Dan CROSSAardvark Excavators Ltd 12:14
38 Marcus CULEYPlacemakers 12:52
39 Josh KUYSTENPowernet 12:55
40 James FOUCHECreation Signs-Ronald McDonald House-Ricoh 13:04
41 Morgan SMITHAardvark Excavators Ltd 13:27
42 Dylan KENNETTPlacemakers 13:57
43 Steve NICHOLLSFinance Now 14:36
44 Darcy PIROTTAVelofit-Santic Racing 14:56
45 Joel YATESTeam Skoda Fruzio 15:08
46 Jordan GILMORECentral Benchmakers-Willbike 15:54
47 Sam MOBBERLEYTeam Skoda Fruzio 15:55
48 Mathew UPTONVelofit-Santic Racing 16:08
49 Reuben SOARESFinance Now 16:30
50 Antony NALDERAdair Craik Accountants 16:47
51 Oliver YOUNGAdair Craik Accountants 16:57
52 Daniel ALCOCKITM 17:05
53 William GREENBusiness South 17:32
54 Scott THOMASTotalPOS Solutions 17:37
55 Todd SATCHELLMagnesium Pur 17:43
56 Thomas HUBBARDPlacemakers 17:52
57 Jasper ALBRECHTVelofit-Santic Racing 18:12
58 Jacob LANGHAMVelofit-Santic Racing 19:14
59 Mark O’BRIENKia Motors-Ascot Park Hotel 19:16
60 Blake TAIT-JONESCentral Benchmakers-Willbike 19:44
61 Michael VOGELMagnesium Pur 20:08
62 Rinze SCHUURMANSTalbot Forest Cheese-Ultimo 20:12
63 Justus ERLERAdair Craik Accountants 20:47
64 Liam CAPPELVet4Farm 21:23
65 Cyrus MONKKia Motors-Ascot Park Hotel 22:27
66 Ollie JONESPowernet ST
67 Felix DONNELLYBusiness South 23:29
68 John WANSINKITM 23:58
69 Brett GRIEVETalbot Forest Cheese-Ultimo 24:05
70 Max JONESTeam Skoda Fruzio 24:07
71 Nathan BELLFinance Now 24:14
72 Hamish KEASTPlacemakers 24:54
73 Burnie MCGRATHAdair Craik Accountants 25:12
74 Corey GREENBERGMagnesium Pur 25:24
75 Andrew KINGWPC South-Joyride Apparel 26:05
76 Calvin STANDRILLTalbot Forest Cheese-Ultimo 26:07
77 Nicholas COSTELLOITM 27:13
78 Nicholas MAGILLVet4Farm 27:47
79 Alex VOGELVet4Farm 27:58
80 Paul WRIGHTCentral Benchmakers-Willbike 28:09
81 Josh PAGEBusiness South 28:28
82 Roman VAN UDENCreation Signs-Ronald McDonald House-Ricoh 31:57
83 Joshua HAGGERTYPlacemakers 35:59
84 Brandon CONWAYOlphert Contracting 36:01
85 Tristan MARGUETVet4Farm 37:40
86 Luke MCDERMOTTCreation Signs-Ronald McDonald House-Ricoh 42:22
87 Tilman STEGERMagnesium Pur 45:59
88 James KRZANICHOlphert Contracting 46:12
89 Andreas BATZEKMagnesium Pur 47:25
90 Ioan FULLERTotalPOS Solutions 47:47
91 William FINDLAYTalbot Forest Cheese-Ultimo 47:54
92 Travis KANEBusiness South 49:52
93 Maxmillian PRIEWICHMagnesium Pur 50:08
94 Luke SHAWTalbot Forest Cheese-Ultimo 52:00
95 Nicholas ROSSTotalPOS Solutions 56:37
96 Guy CARTERCreation Signs-Ronald McDonald House-Ricoh 56:43
97 Tim CHAPMANCreation Signs-Ronald McDonald House-Ricoh 59:11
98 Bryce LANIGANVelofit-Santic Racing DNF

 

Young rider classification after stage 3:

1 Connor BROWNPowernet 11:02:19
2 Corbin STRONGTeam Skoda Fruzio 02:19
3 Nick WHITEAardvark Excavators Ltd 02:37
4 Ethan BATTWPC South-Joyride Apparel 04:00
5 Kees DUYVESTEYNCreation Signs-Ronald McDonald House-Ricoh 04:10
6 Matias FITZWATERVet4Farm 04:36
7 Shaun FALZARANOITM 05:36
8 Campbell PITHIEITM 05:39
9 Tom SEXTONBusiness South 06:19
10 Ben ANDREWSAardvark Excavators Ltd 06:37
11 Jordan SCHMIDTVelofit-Santic Racing 07:26
12 Blake SUNDEAdair Craik Accountants 08:06
13 Alex WESTTotalPOS Solutions 09:54
14 Carne GROUBETotalPOS Solutions 10:04
15 Jensen PLOWRIGHTAardvark Excavators Ltd 11:08
16 James FOUCHECreation Signs-Ronald McDonald House-Ricoh 13:04
17 Darcy PIROTTAVelofit-Santic Racing 14:56
18 Joel YATESTeam Skoda Fruzio 15:08
19 Reuben SOARESFinance Now 16:30
20 Oliver YOUNGAdair Craik Accountants 16:57
21 Jasper ALBRECHTVelofit-Santic Racing 18:12
22 Liam CAPPELVet4Farm 21:23
23 Felix DONNELLYBusiness South 23:29
24 John WANSINKITM 23:58
25 Max JONESTeam Skoda Fruzio 24:07
26 Hamish KEASTPlacemakers 24:54
27 Burnie MCGRATHAdair Craik Accountants 25:12
28 Alex VOGELVet4Farm 27:58
29 Paul WRIGHTCentral Benchmakers-Willbike 28:09
30 Brandon CONWAYOlphert Contracting 36:01
31 Tilman STEGERMagnesium Pur 45:59
32 James KRZANICHOlphert Contracting 46:12
33 Ioan FULLERTotalPOS Solutions 47:47
34 Luke SHAWTalbot Forest Cheese-Ultimo 52:00
35 Bryce LANIGANVelofit-Santic Racing DNF

 

 

Sprint classification after stage 3:

1 Matt ZenovichPlacemakers 26 pts
2 Ollie JonesPowernet 26
3 Alex VogelVet4Farm 19
4 Morgan SmithAardvark Excavators Ltd 11
5 Jensen PlowrightAardvark Excavators Ltd 11
6 Paul OdlinPowernet 8
7 Jordan GilmoreCentral Benchmakers-Willbike 8
8 James FoucheCreation Signs-Ronald McDonald House-Ricoh 8
9 Dylan KennettPlacemakers 7
10 Blake SundeAdair Craik Accountants 6
11 Kevin GirkinsKia Motors-Ascot Park Hotel 5
12 Scott ThomasTotalPOS Solutions 5
13 Paul WrightCentral Benchmakers-Willbike 5
14 Thomas HubbardPlacemakers 4
15 Ethan BattWPC South-Joyride Apparel 4
16 Liam CappelVet4Farm 3
17 Nick WhiteAardvark Excavators Ltd 3
18 Kees DuyvesteynCreation Signs-Ronald McDonald House-Ricoh 3
19 Oliver MartinWPC South-Joyride Apparel 2
20 Roman Van UdenCreation Signs-Ronald McDonald House-Ricoh 2
21 Guy CarterCreation Signs-Ronald McDonald House-Ricoh 2
22 Tim ChapmanCreation Signs-Ronald McDonald House-Ricoh 2
23 Michael VinkWPC South-Joyride Apparel 1
24 Sascha Bondarenko-EdwardsTeam Skoda Fruzio 1
25 Brad EvansWPC South-Joyride Apparel 1
26 Alex WestTotalPOS Solutions 1
27 Mark O’BrienKia Motors-Ascot Park Hotel 1
28 Josh PageBusiness South 1

Mountains classification after stage 3:

1 Ethan BattWPC South-Joyride Apparel 30 pts
2 Matt ZenovichPlacemakers 17
3 Thomas HubbardPlacemakers 13
4 Michael VinkWPC South-Joyride Apparel 10
5 Ioan FullerTotalPOS Solutions 8
6 Jensen PlowrightAardvark Excavators Ltd 6
7 Brett GrieveTalbot Forest Cheese-Ultimo 6
8 Sam GazePowernet 6
9 Morgan SmithAardvark Excavators Ltd 6
10 Scott ThomasTotalPOS Solutions 6
11 Hamish BondKia Motors-Ascot Park Hotel 5
12 Kevin GirkinsKia Motors-Ascot Park Hotel 5
13 Brad EvansWPC South-Joyride Apparel 4
14 Jake MarryattFinance Now 4
15 Alex VogelVet4Farm 4
16 Ryan ChristiansenKia Motors-Ascot Park Hotel 2
17 Max JonesTeam Skoda Fruzio 2

Team classification after stage 3:

1 WPC South-Joyride Apparel 33:06:43
2 Kia Motors-Ascot Park Hotel 02:17
3 Powernet 02:20
4 Team Skoda Fruzio 05:49
5 Aardvark Excavators Ltd 05:52
6 Olphert Contracting 09:21
7 ITM 11:26
8 Placemakers 16:58
9 Vet4Farm 23:51
10 TotalPOS Solutions 25:23
11 Adair Craik Accountants 31:09
12 Velofit-Santic Racing 32:53
13 Creation Signs-Ronald McDonald House-Ricoh 36:03
14 Finance Now 36:07
15 Business South 40:22
16 Magnesium Pur 54:41
17 Talbot Forest Cheese-Ultimo 57:27
18 Central Benchmakers-Willbike 58:11

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