Hamish Bond has ridden a stunning individual time trial this morning to win the penultimate stage of the 2018 SBS Bank Tour of Southland and get himself within 18sec of race leader Michael Vink.
Heading into this afternoon’s 77km stage from Winton to Invercargill, Vink, who has been runner-up for the past two years, leads the tour by 18sec from Bond and 3min 15sec from third placed Sam Gaze.
Bond, the national time trial champion, was outstanding in the 13km time trial around Winton, despite heavy rain which started to fall just as the top general classification contenders started their lap.
His time of 15:51.47 was more than 50sec clear of second placed Dylan Kennett, with Vink finishing third on the stage.
“We’ll keep fighting and doing our best and try and make Michael earn his win if he is going to get it,” Bond said.
Vink started the day with a 1min 32sec lead over Bond, but is happy to have any sort of buffer when the final stage gets underway at 1.30pm this afternoon.
“I felt like I rode a good time trial, I rode within myself and I’ve got good legs for this afternoon. It doesn’t really matter whether it’s 18sec or 2min, the tactics are the same,” Vink said.