Buchanan scoops up historic fourth New Zealand road national title
NAPIER, New Zealand (January 7, 2016) – UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team’s Rushlee Buchanan put her name in the history books January 7th, becoming the first female New Zealander to win the national road championship title four times.
“It’s not every day you get to say you made history,” said Buchanan, who also won the title in 2010, 2014 and 2016. “Grabbing my fourth championship was something special. However, I didn’t line up thinking about that though. I had to focus on my day and what I wanted to achieve in the race.”
Buchanan outsprinted breakaway companions Olympian Georgia Williams and Kate McIlroy after 112 kilometers of dynamic racing around the coastal city of Napier.
The trio escaped on the last climb, with 10 kilometers to go on the hilly course. Knowing the finale would come down to a sprint, an experienced Buchanan bided her time and executed her kick to the line with textbook precision.
“I knew my strengths would be in the latter part of the race. Attrition played a big part and everyone became more vulnerable to the long race and the hot day,” Buchanan said. “Having the UnitedHealthcare training camp in Colombia and riding mountains with my teammates for hours every day gave me good confidence. I knew if I could make it to the end in the front group I’d have the best legs at the end.
“It was a hard race and what you’d expect from a national championship,” Buchanan said. “It was good to see aggressive riding from the field.”Watch the post-race interview with Rushlee below.