I’m hearing lots of chatter about roadies guys wanting to give track a proper go. Speed League is growing nicely, developing great talent and is well organised and communicated – this season should be a big one for the Wellington Velodrome.
STAKES RAISED FOR BURKES CYCLES SPEED LEAGUE’S THIRD SEASON
October 10 2014
With an influx of quality riders targeting track cycling and fresh new sponsors, the Burkes Cycles Speed League, which begins on November 2 at the Wellington Velodrome in Hataitai, is preparing for its biggest season yet.
During the summer-long, weekly track cycling competition which is organised by the Port Nicholson Poneke (PNP) Cycling Club, riders can pick up points in races graded according to ability and at the end of the season, titles are handed out for the men’s, women’s, under 15 and under 17 Champions. The leaders in each category have the honour of wearing specially designed Champion System jerseys.
New for 2014/15 is a teams competition sponsored by Zeal Commercial Interiors, in which the three highest scoring riders in each team have their points combined. The men’s and women’s The Lanes Sprint Ace contests, where the quickest of the quick are pitted against each other in one-on-one sprints, will return.
In the Coffee Supreme sponsored senior men’s and women’s categories, defending champions Nick Warren (Miramar) and Ele Pepperell (Ngaio) will face tougher competition than ever, with a number of road-based cyclists deciding to target track cycling for the summer. Grant Perry (Miramar), fourth overall in 2013/14, will aim to capitalise on the the backing of the previously road-centric Rivet Racing team.
Wellington boasts a number of talented under 19 riders who have come through the ranks to be primary animators at Speed League races. Seatoun’s Zac Blakely (sixth overall in 2014/15), Petone’s Louis Higgisson (The Lanes Sprint Ace champion 2013/14) and Karori’s Jon Barnes (under 17 winner 2012/13) will be keen for more glory.
Pepperell will face a strong challenge leading up to Christmas from Karori’s Ione Johnson, who has represented New Zealand most recently at the Oceania Track Championships, and Holly Blakely (Seatoun) who was the under 17 champion in 2013/14.
However the next wave of juniors including multiple Wellington champion Jordan Lewis (Belmont) and 2013/14 under 15 Speed League victor and national medalist George Jackson (Island Bay) are already coming through and will be gunning for valuable Speed League points. As well as local hitters, top Levin-based junior Thomas Garbett has confirmed he will race on a regular basis.
The Burkes Cycles Speed League begins on November 2, 2014 at the Wellington Velodrome in Hataitai and takes place every Sunday from 4-6pm through to the end of March 2015 with a break over Christmas.