Multiple New Zealand road champion Michael Vink is part of a strong field of road cyclists who will line up in this Sunday’s second round of the Trust House North Island Cycling Series in the Wairarapa.
Vink, who just arrived in New Zealand after his professional season with the French team Sojasun Espoir ACNC, will race for the Phiten-Breadcraft-Cottage Lane team in the road race which begins in the wine village of Martinborough and takes riders out and back to the quirky fishing village of Ngawi on the dramatic south coast.
Vink will be part of a field of 23 teams and a total of 184 riders from all over the country and will be in good company. His teammates are Antony Nalder, the current Wellington road champion, and David Rowlands, silver medallist at this year’s UCI Gran Fondo World Championships in France. “I’m very excited to be racing round two of the Trust House North Island Team Series. I have participated in many of Jorge Sandoval’s races in the past and they have all been really well organised with very good quality racing and I expect this race to be no different,” he said.
“I have a lot of confidence in my Phiten-Breadcraft team, who have had a very strong presence in the series; we are an ambitious team with multiple goals and I feel privileged to be racing with such a motivated and professional group of guys in one of the premier race series in the country,” said Vink.
Sunday’s race is also a new one for all riders in the event as for the first time ever it will go to the fishing village of Ngawi, located near Cape Palliser. Race director Jorge Sandoval said the beautiful terrain will prove a hard task for elite riders in the race, especially on the return leg when riders will face one of the hardest hill climbs for any bike race in New Zealand.
He said riders will start from Martinborough heading south towards Lake Ferry, after 34 kilometres of racing riders turn left towards Ngawi via Cape Palliser Road. He is looking forward to seeing which of the elite riders will thrive in what is expected to be challenging conditions.
“This is the race lots of people have been waiting for – the race to Ngawi and back. Climbing the hill on the way back from Ngawi will test them to the maximum. It’s not a long hill climb but very steep, adding in the wind, will create lots of issues to many riders,” said Sandoval. “I won’t be surprised if the bunch go to pieces up this hill.”
“It’s also great to have Michael in the race. He’s a top rider with lots of New Zealand titles and international victories to his credit and will be the rider to watch. I am sure he will perform well on Sunday and help the Phiten-Breadcraft-Cottage Lane team to get more points in the five race series.”
“The first race in the Trust House North Island series was conducted in great weather conditions, let’s hope the Wairarapa weather gets better for the weekend,” said Sandoval.
Race two will be held on Sunday, 15th October 2017. It starts at 10.30am from Martinborough and will see riders will race south towards Ngawi via Lake Ferry Road, Cape Palliser Road with the U turn for Elite riders at the Ngawi village. Masters riders will turn before Ngawi.