Australia’s Callum McClusky and Emma Jeffcoat put on a stunning display at the Oceania Cup opener in Wanaka, New Zealand, claiming gold and bronze respectively in a highly competitive sprint course event.
McClusky showed his strength by producing the run of the day to edge out New Zealand’s Kyle Smith and Tayler Reid to take first place. Meanwhile, Jeffcoat joined winner Nicole Van Der Kaay (NZ) and second-placed Brea Roderick (NZ) on the podium, in a promising start to the season.
The Lake Wanaka sprint course was challenging, with crashes on the bike costing McClusky time, but with a hard effort on the run, he then held off a fierce challenge in the sprint finish to take the tape.
“I had to work really hard on the run and luckily I got it,” McClusky said. “I caught them on the second lap [of three]. I just sat on them in the headwind and then I went in the tailwind and I got a little gap. But I didn’t know I had it till the end because they were coming hard at the end in the sprint finish… I had to work the whole way.”
Queensland’s Brad Course finished fifth, followed by Luke Willian, Luke Schofield, and Jayden Schofield and in the women's Aleisha Wesley and Jessica Ewart-Mctigue the next Aussies behind Jeffcoat, making it an impressive showing by the Australian contingent.
With the first race under the belt, the Aussies will now gear up to compete against New Zealand in next Saturday’s Oceania Cup Taupo and Oceania Junior Championships, before the Oceania Mixed Relay Championships on Sunday.
Elite Men (top 5)
1 Callum McClusky 00:48:21
5 Bradley Course 00:48:46
7 Luke Willian 00:49:01
8 Luke Schofield 00:49:04
12 Jayden Schofield 00:49:21
Elite Women (top 5)
3 Emma Jeffcoat 00:54:13
6 Aleisha Wesley 00:55:27
8 Jessica Ewart-Mctigue 00:56:11
13 Victoria Gillies 00:57:22
15 Ellie Hoitink 00:57:42
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