Cyclists contest Oceania Champs

Michaela Drummond in action during the Madison race at the Oceania Track Championships. Photo – Kevin Anderson/Chameleon Photography.

Five local cyclists competed in the Oceania Championships in Adelaide last week, with up-and-coming young cyclists Mya Anderson, Reuben Webster and Patrick Clancy joining Rushlee Buchanan and Ellesse Andrews on the 40-strong New Zealand squad.

Held October 10 – 13, it was the first major international event to provide ranking points towards the World Championships and ultimately the Tokyo Olympics.

Ellesse Andrews made the most of it, grabbing her first elite honour on day two of the competition. The 18-year-old won the elite women’s 3000m individual pursuit title, clocking 3:35.379 in the qualifying round and winning the final over Australia’s Maeve Plouffe in 3:38.380.

Ellesse Andrews (right) and the Elite women’s pursuit team race the Adelaide Super-Drome track on day one of the Oceania Track Cycling Championships. Photo – Richard Morton.

Andrews started strongly but the Australian began to close the margin before the Kiwi reacted to win with a comfortable three second margin.

“I am pretty stoked to be honest,” Ellesse said. “I have not done an IP (individual pursuit) for a few months and I was unsure what I was aiming for. So to do 3:35 for my first one which is not far off my PB (personal best) and to back that up with the finals ride just a little bit slower but get the gold was pretty cool too.

“I knew it was pretty tight and started to press it down with three or four laps to go and managed to keep the gaps.”

Day three also saw Rushlee Buchanan finish eighth in the elite women’s omnium, behind Hamilton’s Jessie Hodges in seventh. On day four Rushlee joined Manawatu’s Michaela Drummond to contest the women’s Madison, where the pair finished in second only six points behind the winners.

Ellesse Andrews on the way to victory in the women’s 3000m individual pursuit on day two of the Oceania Track Cycling Championships in Adelaide. Photo – Kevin Anderson/Chameleon Photography.

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