Wanaka athlete wins Longest Day

Dougal Allan competes in the mountain running stage of the 1 day individual competition during the 2019 Kathmandu Coast to Coast. Photo: Getty Images
Dougal Allan competes in the mountain running stage of the 1 day individual competition during the 2019 Kathmandu Coast to Coast. Photo: Getty Images

Wanaka's Dougal Allan made a successful return to elite multisport racing when he won the open men's world championship crown to go with the Longest Day title in the Kathmandu Coast to Coast yesterday.

Allan initially became involved in a leading group of 13, that went hammer and tong in the heavy overcast conditions between Kumara and Aickens.

Transferring to the 33km alpine run he appeared content to settle in behind a fast and furious pace being set by Australian Alex Hunt and Bobby Dean (Te Puke). While content to lay in waiting behind them were Sam Manson (Christchurch) and Allan.

Hunt kept the pressure on the field with a powerful run up and over the top of Goat Pass to Klondyke to hold a 4min lead. And for a long while it seemed as though Hunt could become the first overseas athlete to win the prestigious title, until it all went horribly wrong for Hunt 45km into the 67km kayak stage down the Waimakariri River to Gorge River Bridge.

And despite Manson taking over the lead for a short time, until he also struck problems, Allan took his opportunity and from then on the race appeared his to loose.

Dougal Allan celebrates winning the 2019 Kathmandu Coast to Coast. Photo: Getty Images
Dougal Allan celebrates winning the 2019 Kathmandu Coast to Coast. Photo: Getty Images

Holding a 3min 30sec lead over Manson at the conclusion of the kayak stage, Allan displayed scant regard for his opponents as he powered his way over the 70km course to the finish at New Brighton, to complete the 243km course in 11hr 15min, with Manson well off his pace coming home second in 11hr 30min with Hunt storming back to finish third in 11hr m39min.

It was a day of mixed fortunes for fellow Wanaka-based multisport athlete Simone Maier.

Maier mixed it up early on the 55km bike from Kumara to Aickens, and powered away to hold an 8min lead over four-time champion Elina Ussher (Nelson), at the completion of the 33km mountain run. But as fortunes changed for the bronze medal, the focus was on the Fortunes of Maier and Ussher.

And despite picking up a time penalty at a transition point and taking a spill on the 15km bike between Klondyke and the kayak stage at Mount White Bridge, Maier remained in control of her race fortunes, to arrive at the New Brighton finish area victorious in 12hr 56min 36sec, with Ussher second in 13min 7sec and Alexandra's Fiona Dowling third in 13min 9sec.

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