Home town boy Seamus Meikle and Wanaka's Jess Simson ran away
with honours at the end of the first day of the two-day
section of the Speight's Coast to Coast today.
Meikle (27), immediately became involved in a breakaway group
of six riders on the 55km bike stage from Kumara to Aichens,
that included Dunedin multisport identity Joss Harris and
Hamilton's William Sams.
The three hit transition at break-neck pace holding a 6min
lead over the chase group, in a time just on 1hr 39min. But
it was Meikle who got the jump on the run down the railway
tracks to Deception Bridge, the take a handy 300m lead as the
field turned into the alpine section.
From then on Meikle continued to extend his lead with
merciless resolve, holing a 2min lead at Big Boulders and
doubling this advantage by the time he reached the summit at
Meikle continued to extended this lead on the run across the
top and down the valley to the conclusion of Day 1 at
Klondyke Corner, to finish the first day in 5hrs 2min 41sec
and hold a massive 18min 2sec advantage heading into the
second day's kayak and bike stages to Sumner Beach.
Asked what his tactic was for the second day, a focused
Meikle responded: "To cross the line first."
Meanwhile in the women's field Simpson made every post a
winning post with a dominant display over both cycle and
Simson carried an 11sec lead into the alpine stage, where she
literally ran away with day one honours and set herself up
for what could be an impressive victory.