McNeice defends Challenge Wanaka title

  • 18/01/2014

Christchurch's Dylan McNeice has defended his Challenge Wanaka triathlon title against some big name multi-sporters.

The pro athlete was one of 1600 people of all ages competing across the various events at the festival.

A brisk early morning wakeup swim in Lake Wanaka, McNeice powered to an early lead and smashed the swim leg record.

His main threats came from Coast to Coast legend Richard Ussher and local multi-sporter Dougal Allan, in his first long-distance triathlon.

"A lot of the greatest athletes in New Zealand have their race and make their mark there," says McNeice. "I love coming to Challenge Wanaka and racing here so I want to make this race my race and always perform here."

Defending women's champ Gina Crawford grabbed an early lead, keen make it seven straight titles

Ussher meanwhile made up some time on the road, in second place at Luggate Bridge. Just behind him was Wanaka's Ben Logan, who crashed after clipping a metal plate and later pulled out of the race.

But Allan was rewarded for a very slick bike leg, moving up to fourth at the final transition.

"The swim's where I'll lose the most time," says Allan. "The bike and the run are where I'm feeling at my strongest, so mentally it'll be a good day for me getting stronger throughout."

The experienced Ussher initially ate into McNeice's lead on the 42-kilometre run, but couldn't maintain it, McNeice claiming back to back titles.

"I had some really good legs on the run and some confidence, and it got me through," says McNeice.

Ussher finished 11 minutes behind, with Allan coming home third.

But Candice Hammond pulled off an upset in the women's race, wrestling the title off Gina Crawford for the first time.

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source: newshub archive