Nationals Team on Fire at Burkes Cycles Speed League Round13
Nationals Team on Fire at Burkes Cycles Speed League Round 13
Wellington's National Championships Team members were on fine form at the Burkes Cycles Speed League Round 13 on Sunday 2 March in Hataitai. Louis Higgison (Petone) won three races in the A Category while George Jackson (Island Bay) and Ione Johnson (Karori) lit up the B Category.
Higgison, who is competing at both the Age Group National Track Championships in Invercargill beginning this week and then the Elite/ Under 19 National Championships the following week, looks to have honed his sprint perfectly. He won the opening Split Points Race winning the intermediate sprint, and was first to cross the line at the finish. Max Uivel (Melrose) was second, and Jon Barnes (Karori) third. He then took the Sprinters' Scratch and an intermediate cash prime on the way, just ahead of Max Uivel, a member of the Wellington Elite/ Under 19 squad. The duo battled it out in a thrilling The Lanes Sprint Ace ride off during which they both tried cat and mouse tactics and even bumped shoulders at one point, before Higgison forged ahead for a narrow win.
Winner of the A cat Odds versus Evens was Grant Perry (Miramar), the sole Masters competitor heading to the Age Group Championships. Perry put in some big turns to ensure the 'Odds' finished in front and then turned out a rapid sprint to win by a clear bike length. Nick Warren (Miramar) was victor in the final 15 Lap Handicap after getting a good jump from a small group on the final lap, but only just holding off a fast-finishing Jon Barnes.
New Zealand representative Ione Johnson took a clear victory in the B category Split Points ahead of Jamie Hodgekinson (Kandallah) and multiple Wellington under 15 Champion George Jackson. Hodgekinson got his own back in the Sprinters' Scratch where Johnson's second place earned her a spot in the women's The Lanes Sprint Ace ride-off against series leader Ele Pepperell (Ngaio). Pepperell who will be racing in the Elite/ Under 19 Championships has won every round of the women's Sprint Ace series but couldn't quite hold off Johnson who came round her in the dying metres of the race. George Jackson won the B category Odds versus Evens, edging out Johnson and Sam Tillotson.
Boston Bright (Wadestown) confirmed he is a rising track star, the under 13 rider winning both C category races in style with solo attacks ahead of May Hodgekinson (Kandallah) and Amelia Taylor (Thorndon).
As the Burkes Cycles Speed League moves into its final few weeks before the season close, Nick Warren leads overall in the men's/ under 19 grade, while Ele Pepperell heads the women's table. Holly Blakely (Seatoun) has a good lead in the under 17s while Louis Hodgkinson holds a firm grip on the under 15s competition. Round 14 starts at 4pm on March 9 at the Wellington Velodrome in Hataitai.
Check all the results here: www.pnp.org.nz/track/speed-league-racing/results/