Andrea Hewitt to compete at Timaru Classic cycle race as she hones in on world triathlon series

Leading Kiwi triathlete Andrea Hewitt is competing in a cycling event in Timaru on Saturday.
GRANT MATTHEW/FAIRFAX NZ

Leading Kiwi triathlete Andrea Hewitt is competing in a cycling event in Timaru on Saturday.

Andrea Hewitt is eyeing another world triathlon series after winning the first two rounds, using Saturday's Timaru Classic as a training ground.

Hewitt will compete in the Calder Stewart cycling series' Timaru Classic, ahead of the third round of the world series in Yokohama, Japan, next month.

This will set up an intriguing battle between cycle series leader Kate McIIroy and also test Hewitt's cycle stamina against some of the country's best domestic cyclists.

McIIroy, who left the international triathlon circuit last year to focus on cycling, said she was looking forward to battling against one of the country's most successful female triathletes.

READ MORE: Triathlete Andrea Hewitt makes it two from two as she wins on Gold Coast

"It's pretty cool she's chosen to race in the series. I raced against and with her for five years and she's a strong cyclist, so will really add to the racing. She's the best [women's] triathlete in the world right now, so to have her lining up in a cycling event is great."

Hewitt said the race would help her improve her cycling stamina as her last cycle race was near her Christchurch base in Eyreton some time ago.

"I guess I feel like I have been neglecting my cycling to improve in other areas of the triathlon but this is an opportunity in between World Series races to give my cycling a test," she said.

"I have no immediate plans to do more cycle races but I'll see how this one goes. I want to help the team to their best result as well and I have some friends racing, so I thought it would be fun to race with them; but it's always more fun when things go well, so that's what I'm hoping for."

McIIroy, who represented New Zealand at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in the steeplechase before turning her attention to triathlon to gain 10th at the London Olympics, won her first race as an elite cyclist in the previous round near Dunedin to take the series lead.

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Hewitt will race for the F.A.S.T Cycling Team, which has former cross country runner turned cyclist, Deborah Paine lying third, just three points behind Harvey and five from McIIroy.

Christchurch cycling coach Paul Odlin leads the elite's men's series after winning the second round featuring a tough 14km climb to the finish.

 - Stuff

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