The Commonwealth Games medallist Jaime Nielsen gave her upcoming track hopes a boost when she defended her time trial title at the elite national road championships in Christchurch today.
Nielsen powered home in strong nor-easterly winds to claim the women's 25km time trial ahead of Commonwealth Games gold medallist Linda Villumsen.
Young Christchurch rider Michael Vink, a three-time winner of the national under-23 honours, won his first elite men's time trial title over 40kms.
Nielsen, who is preparing towards next month's track world championships, put her renowned strength as a former rower to good effect, to win in 35m03s.
Villumsen, still in the early stages of her off-season base training, came second, with Nielsen's track teammate Lauren Ellis third.
While Nielsen is thrilled with her win she's not reading too much into the result.
"Riders are all in different phases of training right now and Linda is looking to the road later in the year while I am focussed on preparing for next month's track world championships," she said.
In the men's race Vink won in 48m24s, coming in ahead of 2013 winner Joseph Cooper with his Avanti Racing teammate Patrick Bevin, a favourite for Sunday's road race, third.