Louis Higgison edged one step closer to the overall Burkes Cycles Speed League Spring Series leader Grant Perry, winning two races at the track cycling series at Wellington Velodrome on Sunday November 30. The under 19 rider is now just five points behind Perry on the table who has lead the series since round two.
With another record turnout of 41 riders across the four grades, the A grade was packed with talent including recent road convert Dan Waluszewski.
Perry began the meeting well, winning the 10 lap Scratch from Nick Warren but could only manage fourth in the Elimination race won by Higgison. Higgison then went on to win the 2 lap Sprinters Scratch ahead of Regan Bang. Waluszewski, known for being a powerhouse on the road, quickly got the hang of fixed gear velodrome racing, and took victory in a fast-paced 20 lap Team Scratch for his yellow team.
Higgison also notched another win in The Lanes Sprint Ace. Adopting his favourite tactic of riding it from the front and keeping his rival – this time Regan Bang – pinned higher up the track, Higgison was able to launch his sprint within the final 200m for a comfortable win. Jamie Hodgkinson was king of the B grade, winning three races and coming dangerously close to being promoted to the As. He had just enough speed to overhaul Liam Cooper and Matt Leyland in the 8 lap Scratch with son Louis Hodgkinson in fourth. Hodgkinson Senior edged Cooper again in the Elimination Race, and held off Sam Tillotson, Chris Taylor and Hannah Latta in the Sprinters’ Scratch.
In the women’s overall standings, supported by Coffee Supreme, Ione Johnson’s two fourth places in the B grade Elimination and Team Scratch were enough for her to assume the lead by two points from Lisa Hunkin. Ele Pepperell solidified her lead in the women’s The Lanes Sprint Ace, easing past Hannah Latta in the finishing straight. Kieran Foley won two races in the C grade, just pipping Gary Gibson for the 6 lap Handicap Scratch and out sprinting Grace Saywell in the Elimination Race.
Tim Chai won the Sprinters’ Scratch ahead of Foley and Saywell. Making their Burkes Cycles Speed League debuts in the under 13s’ D grade were Matt McCarty, Max Wickens and Dylan Reid. All three made their mark on the racing with McCarty winning the Handicap Scratch, and Wickens the Elimination and Sprinters’ Scratch. Henry Tate wears the Champion System jersey as the under 13 category overall leader.
There are two rounds in the Spring Series remaining before the Speed League takes a break over Christmas, returning January 25, 2015 for the start of the Summer Series.
Overall Burkes Cycles Speed League winners are determined by combining Spring and Summer series points and are crowned at the end of the season in March 2015.
Burkes Cycles Speed League 2014/15 Spring Series Category Leaders:
Senior/ Under 19: Grant Perry (79 points)
Female: Ione Johnson (38 points)
Under 17: George Jackson (49 points)
Under 15: Grace Saywell (62 points)
Under 13: Henry Tate (59 points)
The Lanes Sprint Ace (men): Louis Higgison
The Lanes Sprint Ace (women): Ele Pepperell
Zeal Commercial Interiors Teams Prize: Capital Cycles Dame Truth (170 points)