Burkes Cycles Speed League Spring Series winners were named following round seven of the track cycling league which was held at Wellington Velodrome in Hataitai on Sunday December 14. Grant Perry won the senior men’s/ under 19 category with Ione Johnson heading up the women’s, both categories supported by Coffee Supreme.
Grace Saywell dominated the under 15 category while George Jackson was the under 17 victor despite racing in the uber-competitive A grade. Henry Tate claimed the under 13 title ahead of Amelia Taylor. All category leaders get to wear specially designed Champion System jerseys.
In the ongoing Zeal Interiors teams competition, Capital Cycles Dame Truth maintain their advantage over Rivet Racing, and Louis Higgison and Ele Pepperell lead The Lanes men’s and women’s Sprint Ace contests.
While the overall Burkes Cycles Speed League champions are crowned next March after riders’ points are combined with the upcoming Summer Series, the Spring Series closer provided yet more high quality racing.
Boosted by an influx of top local road cyclists, the A grade has never been tougher. Nick Warren took his first outright win of the season, just holding off Grant Perry in the 10 lap Scratch. Perry quickly bounced back taking the Devislish Point-a-Lap – a combined Elimination and Points Race – ahead of a canny George Jackson.
Max Uivel got the better of Jackson in the next race, the Marymoor Crawl, where riders must balance in a track stand for an unspecified amount of time until the bell rings to signify one lap to go. Uivel then went on to win his first The Lanes Sprint Ace ride off of the season.
Tijs Robinson made an impressive debut in the B grade, winning the 8 lap Scratch two lengths ahead of under 15 rider Thomas McCullum, Sam Tillotson and Liam Cooper. McCullum rode a brilliant Devilish Point-a-Lap, breaking away for a number of laps and soloing to victory ahead of Robinson and Lincoln Hill. Hill nailed his track stand in the Marymoor Crawl, getting a fast start to finish ahead of Cooper and Glenn Catchpole.
In the combined C and D grade, Boston Bright won the 6 lap Handicap Scratch over Jake Leslie, Josh Goodger and Zoe Perry but lost out to Max Wickens in the Devilish Point-a-Lap. Wickens also won the Marymoor Crawl ahead of Ruby Straugheir, Bright and Goodger.
There was a twist in the last race of the meeting, the 20 lap Team Scratch, whereby A graders did not count across the line and had to act as super-domestiques for their B or C grade team mates. Numerous attacks and breaks came to nothing and in a blanket finish, Regan Bang led out Sam Tillotson brilliantly for the win with Orange’s Jamie Hodgkinson in second and Green’s Thomas McCallum in third.
The Burkes Cycles Speed League Summer Series kicks off after a break over the holidays on Sunday January 25, 2014 at Wellington Velodrome, and features the Wellington Sprint Championships. Full programme here.
Burkes Cycles Speed League 2014/15 Spring Series Category leaders:
Senior/ Under 19: Grant Perry (91 points)
Female: Ione Johnson (38 points)
Under 17: George Jackson (62 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 (193 points)