Nelson’s Elina Ussher has defended her Coast to Coast one-day women’s crown after surging past her main rival with pedal power on Sunday.
Elina made her winning move on the final bike leg, after being passed by South Africa’s Robyn Owen on the 67 kilometre kayak leg, winning her fourth women’s Kathmandu Coast to Coast longest day world championship title.
“I ran my own race today and wasn’t really worried about the other girls,” she says.
The 11-time competitor says she was also pleased her fitness level held up throughout the day.
“I managed to do the race with no cramp this year, so that was awesome.
“I knew Robyn [Owen] was an amazing kayaker and she came past me quite early on and I was thinking ‘oh no, she’s going to put 20 minutes on me, she’s really amazing, she’s just a machine,’ so I was surprised I was only five minutes behind heading onto the final bike.”
Ussher quickly went to work on the bike to reel in the South African Coast to Coast first timer, passing Robyn by the half way point to come home in 13 hours 11minutes, 17 minutes ahead of her.
“It was a really long day today and a tough final bike leg, so I’m really happy to win again,” Ussher says.
In the two-day event, Waimea College 16-year-old Cameron Jones showed he will be a multisport name to watch for the future,
After dominating day one, Cameron won the men’s individual event in emphatic style, crossing the finish line in 12 hours 19 minutes and five seconds, more than half an hour in front of Oliver Thompson who was second.
He is the youngest person ever to win a Kathmandu Coast to Coast individual title in the 34-year history of the South Island’s most popular multisport event.