Odlin hopes it's third time lucky
Paul Odlin certainly doesn't lack motivation to win today's 100km Christchurch to Akaroa Le Race.
The Christchurch cyclist has crossed the line in Akaroa in second place twice, including in 2012 when he was leading another Christchurch rider, Sam Horgan, into the final decent, only to crash.
He was beaten in 2010 by another of Christchurch's strong cycling contingent, Michael Vink.
''I really don't have any real pressure to win,'' Odlin said.
''I'm more focused on my coaching business now rather than racing but it would be nice to say I've won it, as it's such a tough event.''
In the absence of defending champion Vink, Odlin will face strong competition from Ashburton's Jason Christie, who has recently returned from racing in Malaysia's Le Tour de Langkawi and four of Canterbury's promising young riders; Daniel Whitehouse, Ben Johnstone, Keagan Girdlestone and Adam Bull.
Experienced locals Antony Chapman, Neil Sutherland, Tom Hubbard, Reon Nolan and Ben Robertson could also feature.
Odlin was taking a ''wait and see'' approach to the race because, he said, it depended on how riders were coping when the race got serious, after the Hilltop Pub.
''It's always a hard day out, not matter what sort of form you're in,'' he said.
''You finish knowing you've had a really tough workout without fail.''
Defending women's champion Sharlotte Lucas will have Otago professional Reta Trotman as her main threat. Trotman, who leaves next month to join her German pro team MaxxSOLAR, is an aggressive rider and proven climber highlighted by her second place in the mountain classification of the Gracia Orlova Tour in Europe last year.
National junior representative Maddi Campbell will be keen for a good hit out before she heads to Canada to join elite amateur cycling team Realdeal/Gears and strong local riders Jeannie Blakemore, Jeanette Gerrie, Lucy Timmings, Alice Bennett and Phoebe McCaughan could all make their presence felt.