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Buchanan chasing NZ road race history

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 5/01/2017

A chance to become the first four-time women's road race winner will motivate Rushlee Buchanan at the New Zealand road cycling championships in Napier.

Defending champion Buchanan, 28, sits on three national titles alongside Meshy Holt and Cath Cheatley.

The United Healthcare Team professional will contest Friday's time trial but her main priority is emerging victorious in Saturday's 112km road race.

"If I get number four that will be awesome obviously, but just to win the race is awesome in its own right. I want to win it as much as any other year," she said.

With the retirement of Jo Kiesanowski and the unavailability of Linda Villumsen, Buchanan is the only former winner to compete this weekend.

She will be joined by her fellow-Rio Olympic riders Jaime Nielsen, Georgia Williams and Racquel Sheath.

There is interest in former mountain runner and triathlete Kate McIlroy who has moved into road cycling, signing with the Specialized Women's Team in Australia.

Buchanan is well prepared with some solid road training since the Olympics but she is light on racing.

"Last season all the track team were on basically the same training programme and we knew where each of us was at," she said.

"But this year we have all been doing our own thing so none of us has been road racing which will make it really interesting."

Buchanan's focus will return to the track next week, targeting a spot in the New Zealand team to contest the world championships in April.

The men's 169km road race is on Sunday.

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