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Cycling Legend Takes On Contact Duathlon Nationals

11th August 2011

Cycling Legend Takes On Contact Duathlon Nationals

Taupo this weekend hosts the Contact National Duathlon Championships, an event that will encompass various National titles, the Oceania Championships for U19, U23 and elite grades and the national Schools Championships with over 500 athletes coming from around New Zealand to take part, including one slightly leg weary cycling champion who is used to his race ending the moment the wheels stop turning.

Five times NZ Road Race Cycling champion and Commonwealth Games medallist Gordon McCauley will be amongst the starters on Sunday and the 39 year old admits he is stepping outside his comfort zone in taking on the Duathlon as he prepares for his debut at Ironman New Zealand next March.

“This is proving a little tough I have to say, mainly because of the impact from running. Cyclists are not used to impact on the legs out on the bike and the shock to my system has led to an injury that my physio basically puts a band-aid on each week to get me through. After this weekend though I can look forward to 12 days break as I am off to Australia to manage a New Zealand cycling team.”

Even though McCauley is these days fulltime coaching with his GMC Coaching business, the strong competitive instincts continue to burn, meaning he won’t back off on Sunday, with most competitors warned to expect a blur on a bike to go by at some point.

“I’ll still go full throttle for sure, even if at times it is a case of ambition exceeding ability. But I definitely want the fastest bike split, I can’t be fastest runner but pride will push me to be the fastest cyclist on course.

“I raced at an event in Pukekohe last weekend where I came off the first run about 30th, rode up to 5th on the bike and finished 10th after the final run. The runs are a bit longer this weekend though, but I learned a lot last week when I started too fast on the second run. I soon found out there is no recovery on the run, no freewheeling or drafting to relax for a bit! If you blow up you blow up – and that’s what I did.”

McCauley might be chasing record times on the bike, but he is realistic in his aspirations, both on the Contact Duathlon Nationals this weekend and at Ironman New Zealand next March.

“I know I am never going to win, the goal was top ten but that might be out of range with the injury and the longer runs this weekend, top 15 is possible though, and of course the fastest bike split.

“I’m looking forward to it, Taupo is a good part of the country and I plan to go down the day before to pre-ride part of the Ironman course. I’ve worked out the numbers I need to ride to break the course record there (currently held by Steve Larsen). I’ll have a wee trial run on part of the course to see if it is feasible, that is the goal in March. The weather gods need to play it right though, Larsen was a better cyclist than me so I’ll need the weather on my side.”

For now though, McCauley will be content with taking on the best duathletes in the country around Taupo Motorsport Park this Sunday, setting that fastest bike split and holding on throughout the course of the two run legs.

Entries across all events close at 5pm on Friday with late entries taken at registration on Saturday from 2pm to 4pm at Taupo Motorsport Park. For more information follow the links from or click here

Contact National Duathlon Championships
Taupo Motorsport Park
Sunday 14th August

U19 National/Oceania Championship, Sprint Distance - INDIVIDUAL EVENT
Standard Distance National Championship INDIVIDUAL & TEAM EVENT
Elite/U23 National/Oceania Championship, Standard Distance INDIVIDUAL EVENT
Short/Give It A Go Distance INDIVIDUAL & TEAM EVENT
National Schools Events
Y7/8 National School Championship INDIVIDUAL & TEAM EVENT
U14 National School Championship INDIVIDUAL & TEAM EVENT
U16 National School Championship INDIVIDUAL & TEAM EVENT
U19 National School Championship INDIVIDUAL & TEAM EVENT


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