The 2015 Burkes Cycles Speed League Champions

Postby Melissa_Theuriau on Wed 25/Mar/15 1:32pm

With the final points-scoring round unfortunately cancelled due to rain, the overall champions of the 2015 Burkes Cycles Speed League have been named.

Max Uivel takes out the senior men's title and, in a Speed League first, The Lanes Sprint Ace comptition. In both classifications, Uivel swooped into the lead at the final opportunity taking the lead at round 7 of the Speed League's track cycling series which has been held weekly throughout summer at the Wellington Velodrome in Hataitai.

As always, consistency throughout the season is a key factor and missing just one or two weeks racing can cost a rider dear. Uivel even decided to rearrange travel back from Auckland to make sure he could attend a recent round.

"I'm immensely proud to have won two categories this year," said Uivel. "It did take some last minute flight changes to secure the win but it was totally worth it."

"We saw lots of excellent racing in A category this year and it was a privilege to be amongst it. I can only say that consistency pays and I'll be back for more next year!"

Uivel, last season's rookie of the year, finished just four points ahead of Grant Perry who blitzed the first half of the year until a crash while out training sidelined him with a broken collarbone. In third was 2013 and 2014 champion Nick Warren.

Winning the women's title for a third straight time is Ele Pepperell, who took out the women's The Lanes Sprint Ace for a second year. Like Uivel, Pepperell grabbed the lead from incumbent Lisa Hunkin at the last raceable round for a slender one point overall victory. A newcomer to track racing, Hunkin proved a worthy competitor, placing regularly in all race types.

Making the women's The Lanes Sprint Ace her own, Pepperell was utterly undefeated the entire season amassing eight wins. At only 18, her reign in this specialist event looks set to continue.

"Winning women’s speed league was a bit unexpected to be honest after moving up to B grade this year which presented a challenge," said Pepperell. "I thought for sure Lisa was going to get it, It was just a few good days of racing that pulled me ahead."

As senior category winners, Uivel and Pepperell will each receive a coveted blue Champion System winner's jersey and prize pack from Coffee Supreme.

Grace Saywell is the undisputed under 17 champion, scoring more Burkes Cycles Speed League points than any other rider in any grade. Hailing from the Kapiti Coast, Saywell's blistering sprint saw her dominate the C grade before she moved up to the Bs to challenge her older and mainly male rivals. Showing promise as a first-year under 17 at the recent Age Group National Championships held in Cambridge, Saywell has a great future ahead of her.

Amelia Taylor benefited from a successful spring where she raced as an under 13, moving up to the under 15s over the New Year break. Her points haul of 97 helped her to the under 15 title ahead of Henry Tate. Taylor's aggressive racing livened up the D grade at every meeting she attended, and she also made the step to compete in the under 15s at the National Championships. A notable third in the under 15s was Louis Hodgkinson who raced the season in the B grade, but still managed to notch up a total of 51 points.

Ben Leslie is the inaugural under 13s champion after seeing off his younger brother Jake, and track rookie Matt McCarty. The category has seen some fantastic racing especially in some of the handicap events and has attracted a number of riders some as young as nine.

Another classification new to Speed League for 2015 was the Zeal Commercial Interiors Teams Prize, where the points of the three highest scoring riders in each registered team are combined. Capital Cycles Dame Truth are the victors, just two points ahead of the Young Guns made up of under 13 riders.

Trophies and prizes will be handed out at the annual "End of Season Bash" at The Lanes Bar and Bowling Lounge in Wellington on March 29 from 6pm.

"Speed League will return in November 2015," says Co-Organiser Nick Warren. "I'd like to thank all the sponsors, volunteers and riders who have contributed to what has, quite honestly, been a brilliant season."

Burkes Cycles Speed League 2014/5 OVERALL Category Winners:
Senior/ Under 19: Max Uivel (104 points)
Female: Ele Pepperell (71 points)
Under 17: Grace Saywell (111 points)
Under 15: Amelia Taylor (97 points)
Under 13: Ben Leslie (89 points)

The Lanes Sprint Ace (men): Max Uivel
The Lanes Sprint Ace (women): Ele Pepperell
Zeal Commercial Interiors Teams Prize: Capital Cycles Dame Truth (280 points)

Burkes Cycles Speed League tables.
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