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Connor Johnson secured his second Wellington Centre title of the year with a commanding display in the 10km Points Race held as part of the Burkes Cycles Speed League Round 14 at Hataitai on Sunday March 10.
Johnson was able to use his strong road cycling fitness to hit the front on sprint laps and hold off the bunch to pick up maximum points on numerous occasions. The 19-year-old finished ahead of Wheelworks team-mates Tristan Thomas and Mike Naylor to add to his Scratch Race title won in February.
Nick Warren was victor in the Masters points race ahead of Aaron Anderson and Grant Perry. Warren was one of four riders, including Anderson, who fell in a crash during the first race of the afternoon; the 10-lap Scratch. After getting patched up he bounced back to win the race after the restart, picking up more valuable Speed League points to all but secure the overall title with one points-scoring round to go in the season.
Renita Vanderhelm won a grueling 8km Womens Points Race Championship ahead of Penny Thomson and Ele Pepperell. The trio are closely packed together at the top of the women’s overall Speed League table and with Pepperell only six points ahead of Vanderhelm and Thomson a further five points back, the battle for the womens title will go down to the wire.
Louis Higgison moved himself into contention for the Sprint Ace trophy, blitzing the A Grade 2-lap Sprinters Scratch, thereby qualifying for a one on one match sprint against Ian Ellis. Ellis led the sprint out, and had a two-length lead over Higgison with less than 200m to go. The under-17 rider’s rapid finish was too much for his older opponent however, and Higgison stormed over the top for the win. He now stands just three points behind Sprint Ace leader Jon Barnes.
Jordan Lewis won his first races of the season, winning the C Grade 6-lap Scratch and also picked up the Sprinters’ Scratch with a convincing sprint ahead of Martine Barnes. Barnes also picked up a second place in the Junior Riders 15-lap Handicap behind Higgison, and has an unassailable lead in the under 15s overall Speed League competition.
Zac Blakely made another attempt to overhaul season leader Lee Evans in the Lemond Fitness Power Play, where the goal is to set the highest power to weight ratio on a static home trainer. Blakely recorded 17.2 Watts/Kg, identical to the mark he set last month and still just 0.1Watts/Kg behind Evans.
There are two Burkes Cycles Speed League events to go before the season close, with March 17 the last opportunity to score points. On March 24, racing will be followed by a prize giving ceremony and celebration of a successful season.
Overall standings after round 14:
Senior/ Under 19: Nick Warren (171pts)
Female: Eleanor Pepperell (134pts)
Under 17: Jon Barnes (150pts)
Under 15: Martine Barnes (121pts)