Michael Vink has claimed his second stage win of the 2016 SBS Bank Tour of Southland with a win in the 13km individual time trial in Winton.
The Mike Greer Homes rider, who lost the tour lead to Aaron Gate yesterday, backed up from his victory on Bluff Hill on Thursday, completing the 13km course in 16min 30sec.
The 2015 national time trial champion finished 10sec ahead of Alex Frame (Kia Motors-Ascot Park Hotel), with Hayden Roulston (Placemakers) a further 6sec in arrears.
Tour leader Aaron Gate (Creation Signs-L&M Group Ricoh) was ninth on the stage, 39sec behind Vink.
Gate will take a 2min 40sec over Vink lead into the final stage this afternoon, a fast 77km stage from Invercargill to Invercargill’s Queens Park.
Dutch rider Sjoerd Kouwenhoven is in third place, 3min 21sec behind Gate.
“It’s basically going to be a game of trying to control it as much as possible. The boys are all amped and ready to ride the front and hopefully we can do that all the way in,” Gate said.
“It’s really exciting. I’m absolutely fizzing to be wearing the yellow jersey, the rest of the team is fizzing and the sponsors are over the moon. The great thing is that it doesn’t get handed to you on a platter, I’ve given it everything I’ve had this week.”
Gate, an Olympic bronze medalist and omnium world champion on the track, said a Tour of Southand victory would be a special addition to his CV.
“It would be massive. It’s a race that is so awesome to come and do – the passion of the Southlanders, everyone that gets in behind it, the local businesses and schools, it’s a race that I hope I can do for many more years – maybe not 23 like Gordy (McCauley).”
Australian Ayden Toovey (Tineli Performance Bikewear) has 2min 28sec lead in the under 23 standings, while Southland’s Nick Kergozou has a narrow three point lead over Gate in the sprint classification.
The race is scheduled to finish at Invercargill’s Queens Park at about 3pm this afternoon.
Photo caption- pic courtesy of James Jubb/Envious Photography
Michael Vink (Mike Greer Homes) powers his way to victory in stage six of the 2016 SBS Bank Tour of Southland.