Keep An Eye On Elliott and Co.
While much of the pre-race talk has been about the looming battle between defending champion Dougal Allan and returning three-time champion Sam Clark, the wise money would be to keep a firm eye on rising star Hamish Elliott.
Rumour has it that the 25-year-old has been floating over Goat Pass recently and has also been likened to three-time champion Braden Currie on his feet. “Yeah, I’ve had a few people make those comparisons,” said Elliott.
Since completing the Kathmandu Coast to Coast Longest Day in 12 hours 14 minutes two years ago, the Southlander has ditched all other sports as well as a full-time job working on a farm, instead shifting to Christchurch to concentrate on multisport. “I’d only just finished a rugby season last time, so I’ve stopped that and have also been racing in China a bit over the past year or so, so I’ve built up a better endurance base that will hopefully help me even more.”
Elliott is ranked fourth, behind Christchurch’s Ryan Kiesanowski who finished 5th in 2019. Kiesanowski lines up for what he thinks will be either his 12th or 13th Kathmandu Coast to Coast. “I can’t wait to get out there and race, it’s been a great summer. I think the Mountain Run is looking as fast as I can remember seeing it so we could be in for a real battle. It’s a great field and I hope myself and the others can keep Dougal and Sam honest.”
With a strong first bike and mountain run last year Bay of Plenty dairy farmer Bobby Dean also returns with the intention of troubling the leaders. “I’ve had a pretty good build-up with no issues to speak of. I’m feeling healthy and fit. I had some issues last year but still managed to come off the Mountain with the leaders so hopefully I can go even better this year.”
Dean emerged from the Mountain run in third position last year but slid back to seventh after he was overtaken in the kayak. “I’ve been working on my kayak a fair bit, so fingers crossed it all comes together on the day.”
Whakatane’s Oliver Thompson steps up into the elite men’s competition having been a part of a winning men’s two-day team in 2018, while Elliott’s flatmate Daniel Barry, who is an extremely strong cyclist, has been seeded in 9th spot, one ahead of Kurow dairy farmer Paul Gow who rounds out the top ten seeds.
“This is a really exciting bunch of athletes and it was extremely hard to complete the seeding for the race,” said Race Director and former podium getter Glen Currie.
“All the wise money leading up to the race is on Dougal and Sam, however, this allows the other men to waltz in with little pressure. I am excited to see young athlete Hamish Elliot attack the run and although he is a dark horse to the general public, I am sure the other elites will be aware of his ability. Bobby Dean and Ryan Kiesanowski are quintessential Coast to Coast athletes, both juggling full-time jobs and full training loads. Bobby completed the event with an injury from the run last year which would have most athletes probably looking for a heli vac so he definitely has the ticker to put on a great display.”
“It’s also great to see these young guys like Oliver, and Rhys continue their development at this level and I’m really excited to see what they can produce, no matter what I think that arguably the world’s most boring stretch of road (South Eyre) could potentially become very exciting on Saturday the 8th of February.”
Top ten men seeding for 2020
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