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Holt hangs tough to overcome title hopefuls

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Melissa Holt en route to winning the women's time trial, her third successive title.

Melissa Holt en route to winning the women's time trial, her third successive title.
(Image credit: BikeNZ)
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Elite Women's National Time Trial Champion Melissa Holt.

Elite Women's National Time Trial Champion Melissa Holt.
(Image credit: Pete Bruggeman)
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Linda Villumsen racing for the first time as a New Zealand citizen.

Linda Villumsen racing for the first time as a New Zealand citizen.
(Image credit: Pete Bruggeman)
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Linda Villumsen will take 3rd place today, seven seconds behind Shanks.

Linda Villumsen will take 3rd place today, seven seconds behind Shanks.
(Image credit: Pete Bruggeman)
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Otago's Alison Shanks put in a fine performance to finish 2nd, 49 seconds behind Holt.

Otago's Alison Shanks put in a fine performance to finish 2nd, 49 seconds behind Holt.
(Image credit: Pete Bruggeman)
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Defending champ Melissa Holt retains her title as New Zealand Time Trial Champion covering the 25km in a time of 35:51.

Defending champ Melissa Holt retains her title as New Zealand Time Trial Champion covering the 25km in a time of 35:51.
(Image credit: Pete Bruggeman)
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The women's podium (l-r): Alison Shanks, Melissa Holt and Linda Villumsen.

The women's podium (l-r): Alison Shanks, Melissa Holt and Linda Villumsen.
(Image credit: Pete Bruggeman)

Melissa Holt overcame a quality women's field to add a third national time trial title to her list of accomplishments in what has been a stellar career for the woman from Waikato.

She was thoroughly impressive to record 35:51 over the 25km distance to finish 40 seconds clear of world individual pursuit champion Alison Shanks, with world tile trial bronze medallist, Linda Villumsen third.

Holt, the former European-based professional, has been mixing cycling with triathlon in recent years, competing in the Ironman World Championships in Hawaii last year.

Holt said that today's win was her best. "It was the best of the three wins because of the calibre of the riders that was here," she explained. "I've been riding well and it's nice to know that if you do the hard work, they it pays off."

The Athens Olympian is hopeful her performance will give her a real shot at selection for New Delhi. "I really hope so. Today was not my best performance yet. I think there's still more left in the tank."

Holt said her involvement in Ironman racing has been a real benefit for her performance in time trials. "After all that is what the Ironman is on the bike - it's an individual time trial. The other thing is that the cross training with the swimming and running keeps me fresh and also gives me really good fitness.

"I will be racing in Ironman New Zealand again in March and I think if I can take my fitness levels from there and add the cycling intensity that it will be a great way to prepare for the Commonwealth Games if I am selected."

She is not so confident she can make it a triple double in tomorrow's road race after winning both title in 2008 and 2009, saying that the demands of the 1km climb up the Cashmere Hills on each of the eight laps of the 134km race will prove a real challenge.

"It's going to be a real race of attrition. I will hang in there as long as possible and then we will see what the options are on that last lap."

Full results
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Melissa Holt0:35:51
2Alison Shanks0:00:49
3Linda Villumsen0:00:56
4Sonia Waddell0:01:32
5Rushlee Buchanan0:01:33
6Gabrielle Vermunt0:02:30
7Bronwen Fraser0:02:43
8Josie Giddens0:02:50
9Serena Sheridan0:02:52
10Rachel Mercer0:02:59
11Marina Duvnjak0:03:12
12Nicky Bowden0:03:19
13Melanie Burke0:03:22
14Lana King0:03:45
15Emma Petersen0:04:32
16Gemma Dudley0:04:43
17Cushla Mckay0:05:46

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