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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 Goat Pass.
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 alpine sections.
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.