Meshy Holt triumphed at the end of a nail-biting finish to the elite women’s K1 race in Coramandel, New Zealand. The Kiwi national road race Champion finished five seconds ahead of Serena Sheridan and 13 seconds clear of Melanie Burke.
From the start in Thames, the early haul up the 14 kilometre climb of Kopu Hikuai was all that was needed to establish the contenders within the first hour of racing. Over the top, a lead group of five were a minute clear, with dark horse contenders Melanie Burke (Auckland), Emma Crum (Auckland) and Tracey Best (Wellington) eyeing off defending champion Serena Sheridan (Taradale) and current elite national champion in both road race and time trial, Meshy Holt (Cambridge).
With no one willing to go it alone into the blustery wind, it was Pumpkin Hill that forced a further selection as Best and Crum fell off the pace and were unable to rejoin. Ahead, Sheridan, Holt and Burke combined well to keep themselves clear.
With chasers behind and a healthy wind ahead, none of the three were willing to risk a solo move. But just as the race looked likely to be decided in a three-up sprint Meshy Holt took a flier with one kilometre to go. Burke and Sheridan looked to each other to lead out the chase, and it was right then that the race was won and lost.
At the finish line Holt stopped the clock five seconds clear of Sheridan. Her winning time of 2:42:03 knocked a massive eight minutes off Sheridan’s race record from last year.
In third place, just eight second further back, Auckland’s Melanie Burke continued her impressive first year in the sport. The former Auckland Marathon winner took to cycling after being talent spotted in the BikeNZ Power to the Podium scheme. She won the national duathlon title earlier this year and claimed fourth just a week ago at the national club cycling champs. A close third in the Orca K1 confirmed that she’s one to watch for the future.
|1||Meshy Holt (Cambridge)||2:42:03|
|2||Serena Sheridan (Taradale)||0:00:05|
|3||Melanie Burke (Auckland)||0:00:13|
|4||Emma Crum (Auckland)||0:01:30|
|5||Tracy Best (Wellington)||0:01:31|