With no fires, earthquakes, shootings or coronavirus to postpone the 22nd edition of New Zealand’s Miles Continental Le Race, almost 750 cyclists, including a star-studded field, rolled out of Christchurch Saturday morning on the 100 kilometre course.
2 hours 30 minutes 5 seconds later two-time winner Michael Vink, wearing bib No.1 bib, earned his third Le Race victory and set a new course record, breaking the old one by over 5 minutes. The record setting ride earned Vink an extra $500 payout on top of $400 for winning.
Mountain bike superstar Anton Cooper, a former Commonwealth Games champion and U23 World Champion, finished second in 2:31:55.
25-year-old Ollie Jones, who plans to race in Europe in the coming weeks was third in 2:32:38.
In the Women’s race, defending champion Kate McIlroy who set the Women’s record in 2019, soloed in for the win, crossing the finish line in 2:54:34 to claim the $400 first place prize.
Sharlotte Lucas, who has five second place finishes at Le Race, continued to fall short of victory, again finishing in second place with a time of 2:57:18. She outsprinted elite road racer Jojo Baur by a tire’s width.
Along with the speedy fast champions, hundreds of weekend warriors, teams, everyday cyclists and even a cycling Darth Vader enjoyed a perfect post-pandemic day of riding at Le Race.
The 23rd edition of Le Race is planned for 19 March 2022.
Complete 2021 Miles Continental Le Race results here.