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New Zealand National Championships - CN
New Zealand, January 11-13, 2008
Stage 2 - January 13: Elite Women Road Race, 104 km
Ironwoman-bound Holt wins cycling double
Waikato rider Melissa Holt took out the double when she won the women's road race at the national championships in Hawkes Bay today. Holt followed her win in the 30 km time trial on Friday when she took out the sprint finish to upset her rivals in the 104 km road race near Taradale.
"This is great. I'm really pleased," Holt said. "I'm not currently in the high performance squad and I always wanted to do an Ironman. So I have been riding less to mix in the swimming and running training.
"I actually think I am stronger and perhaps the cross-training has helped me because I felt quite fresh."
The Athens Olympian showed her cycling career is far from over despite training for the Ironman New Zealand triathlon in Taupo in March. She was too strong in the sprint to hold off Canterbury's Rosara Joseph and young Auckland prospect Kaytee Boyd.
"The result is fantastic. I still want to do as much as I can in cycling and I'm available at all levels. But for the next few weeks it's swimming and running to take part in Ironman.
"I am meant to transition off the bike for a run but I can tell you my legs won't allow me to do that. But I do have to stop off for a swim in Lake Taupo on the way home."
How it unfolded
Auckland's Marina Duvnjak set the race alight when she broke on the five kilometre climb on the first of four laps, stretching her lead to a surprising five minutes at the end of the first lap. The peloton reduced the margin to three minutes on lap two and Duvnjak's brave solo breakaway ended on the climb on lap three.
However Duvnjak broke away again with Yvette Hill-Willis (Auckland) on the last lap before being hauled in by a break off the front of the chasers by Joseph, the Commonwealth Games mountain bike medallist. She was joined by Serena Sheridan (Nelson Marlborough) but on the descent if was Holt, Joseph and Boyd who opened a slight gap with Holt's experience and strength showing out to grab the victory.
"There was no pressure on me and I think they were waiting for me to take up the chase but I was happy to sit back. Marina rode so well today and I was happy for her to stay out there," Holt said. "I am certainly not a sprinter but I used Rosara a bit and I guess I was a bit more experienced and sneakier to use her to get the jump."
1 Melissa Holt (Waikato/Bay of Plenty) 3.10.32 (32.750 km/h) 2 Rosara Joseph (Canterbury) 0.02 3 Kaytee Boyd (Auckland) 4 Serena Sheridan (Nelson Marlborough) 0.05 5 Karen Fulton (Nelson Marlborough) 6 Emma Crum (Wellington) 7 Toni Bradshaw (Auckland) 8 Brei Gudsell (West Coast North Island) 0.06 9 Jeannie Kuhajek (Nelson Marlborough) 0.09 10 Clarrissa Wilkes (Waikato/Bay of Plenty) 0.17 11 Britta Martin (Nelson Marlborough) 12 Sarah Murdoch (Auckland) 0.19 13 Yvette Hill-Willis (Auckland) 14 Kerri-Ann Torckler (West Coast North Island) 0.23 15 Rachel Mercer (Wellington) 1.22 16 Bridget Robertshaw (East Coast North Island) 1.25 17 Sonia Hill (Waikato/Bay of Plenty) 18 Catherine Boyens (Auckland) 1.26 19 Laura Thompson (Canterbury) 20 Steph Everson (East Coast North Island) 21 Tara Allerton (West Coast North Island) 1.27 22 Marina Duvnjak (Auckland) 1.28 23 Nimesha Smith (Canterbury) 4.18 24 Josie Giddons (Mid South Canterbury) 25 Lauren Ellis (Mid South Canterbury) 4.37 26 Tracey Best (Wellington) 5.58 27 Nicola Cox (West Coast North Island) 8.34 28 Gabrielle Bahler (Wellington) 11.12 29 Vicki Burr (Waikato/Bay of Plenty) 11.14 30 Sherilyn Gray (Wellington) 31 Amy Mosen (Waikato/Bay of Plenty) 11.15 32 Genevieve Whitson (Wellington) 33 Tracey Herbert (Waikato/Bay of Plenty) 34 Alison Shanks (Otago) 11.16 35 Freya Scollay (Auckland) 18.56 36 Toria Adamson (West Coast North Island) 24.01 DNF Rushlee Buchanan (Waikato/Bay of Plenty)