Kashi Leuchs ended Marcus Roy's four-year consecutive winning streak at the Motatapu Icebreaker on Saturday. The race was billed as a Roy versus Leuchs showdown and didn't disappoint. It was three-time Olympian Leuchs' first attempt at the event, which followed a 50km route through three remote and spectacular high country properties between Wanaka and Arrowtown.
"Marcus and I have done a lot of riding together and I know how strong he is so it feels good to win today," Leuchs said. "I went into this event without a lot of expectation and I'm really pleased to have won it."
Leuchs said it was the landscape that most inspired his ride, "It's an amazing race - with incredible scenery and a really great vibe." For Roy, finishing second in the race was not all bad - he kept his record course intact.
"It was a tough race. We had a fast start and I got sucked into chasing hard with Tony Hogg who led out the start. Eventually I realised I had to settle into my own race - to set my own pace," Roy said. "Kashi went by coming up to midway and from that point, I knew it was his race."
Unlike Leuchs, Roy just failed to go under the magic two-hour mark this year, finished in 2:00.11, but still more than three minutes ahead of third-placed Tony Hogg, of Dunedin.
In the women's race, Sara Macdonald claimed her fourth annual title.