Peloton Watch
  2019 New Zealand Road National Championships - Women's Time Trial Preview  
  Georgia Williams on her way to the 2018 time trial title. Photo: John Cowpland  
  New Zealand will crown the first national champions on the road for 2019 in the time trial on Friday, January 4th. The under 23 and elite women's fields will tackle a 20km lap starting and finishing in Church Road Winery. With 213 metres of elevation gain over the short 20 kilometre distance it will be a case of who can quickly settle in to their rhythm.

Defending champions Georgia Christie (under 23) and Georgia Williams (elite) both return looking to defend their titles though with 2018 silver medallists and former winners Mikayla Harvey (under 23) and Rushlee Buchanan (elite) both on the start line they will not have it all their own way.

Under 23 Women's Time Trial

Start List

Mikayla Harvey

The 2017 winner missed defending her title 12 months ago finishing just over half a minute behind Georgia Christie and will be determined to regain her crown as New Zealand's rising time trial star. Claimed the Oceania Under 23 title in March and was selected for the World Championships before an early crash took her out of contention. On paper is the strongest in the race against the clock though an arm injury kept her off the bike in much of December. Remains to be seen how the injury has impacted her preparation.

Georgia Christie

The defending champion returns looking to go back to back and claimed a third consecutive medal, having won silver in 2017 and finished fourth (elite) in 2016. Christie has long been strong in the time trial and represented New Zealand as a junior at the World Championships. Ended her 2018 early after a crash in Europe, which could help her lead in to 2019. With only one time trial in her legs the last 12 months, other than a short prologue at Premondiale Giro Toscana that could hurt her chances.

Libby Arbuckle

Arbuckle stepped up from the junior ranks and found immediate success at the under 23 level in Oceania by claiming bronze at the New Zealand Nationals and silver at the Oceania Championships. Younger than the other contenders and with time spent on the track as a tandem pilot her road form is unknown.

Bryony Botha

A member of the New Zealand Elite Track Team and former junior world champion in the team pursuit Botha finished just off the podium in fourth a year ago. With the three riders who beat her returning it will be a hard ask to finish the podium this year with Botha in the middle of track season and preparing for a home World Cup in two weeks.

Elite Women's Time Trial

Start List

Georgia Williams

Last year was a breakthrough season for Williams and it all started with winning the New Zealand time trial title by 14 seconds over 2016 champion Rushlee Buchanan. A strong all rounder who can climb, time trial and sprint Williams backed up her national success with a fifth place finish in the time trial at Emakumeen Bira in Spain beating some of the best in the world in the process. An impressive 11th place on a hard course at the World Championships in September only further solidifies her status as the favourite.

Rushlee Buchanan

2017 winner Buchanan narrowly missed defending her title a year ago by 14 seconds on Georgia Williams and is back to try and reclaim her crown. While better known for her success on the track Buchanan has an impressive road palmares and finished fifth at the Commonwealth Games time trial and Chrono de Gatineau last year. In the middle of track season and with a home World Cup Buchanan may not be at her peak on the road but don't discount her experience to deliver another title.

Other names to watch: 2018 bronze medallist Bronwyn MacGregor and track riders Racquel Sheath and Kirstie James.
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