Canterbury's Paul Odlin upset the field to win the men's time trial at the national road cycling championships in Christchurch yesterday.

Odlin clocked 49m 35s for the 40km journey near Lincoln College to finish 21s ahead of his Subway Pro Cycling teammate Sam Horgan, with favourite Jesse Sergent third.

BikeNZ's leading women's track pursuit team of Lauren Ellis, Jaime Nielsen and Alison Shanks filled the podium positions in the women's contest over 25km, and Canterbury's Michael Vink made it two wins in three years in the under-23 event.

Odlin, a father of two who mixes work with his passion as a cycling coach in Christchurch, gave the perfect lesson in time trialling yesterday.

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"I'm fortunate to coach and be able to integrate my training into my work which is great," said Odlin, who was runner-up four years ago. "And I am so grateful for the support I get from Subway Pro Cycling team with the bike, the support and the input from guys like Hayden Godfrey.

"I had some of my clients out supporting me today which was great."

The Cantabrian pushed hard over the first half but had to fight the demons on the return leg.

"I felt really good going out. I knew it would be hard coming back so took that into my planning. I struggled though but everyone did. It was a matter of digging deep and hanging on," he said. "It's quite a thrill to win this title for sure."

The one-two finish for his Subway Pro Cycling team was a real boost before tomorrow's men's road race.

"This shows that Subway are here and going to be a force."

Ellis, competing for Mid South Canterbury, won the bragging rights over her team pursuit colleagues in the women's battle.

Only 29s separated the trio, with Ellis at 35:21, Nielsen at 35:48 and Shanks at 35:50. They head to Invercargill today to prepare for a week of training on the track.

Vink showed he is in strong form again with an excellent effort to win in 49:48 from Mid South Canterbury's Jason Christie in 50:30 - reversing last year's placings.

Talented Hawkes Bay junior Fraser Gough, a silver medallist on the track at last year's junior world championship, was third in 50:39.

Vink has a chance of the double when he lines up to defend his under-23 road title tomorrow.

The focus switches to the road with the 123km women's road race today comprising eight laps around the Hoon Hay circuit.

The men's elite and under-23 race, over 186km in 12 laps, is tomorrow. The races include the testing climb up the Cashmere Hills on each lap.