New Zealand representative Jordan Castle (Bike Manawatu) played his cards perfectly to win the prestigious Laykold Cup held at the Wellington Velodrome on Sunday February 15, out sprinting Dan Waluszewski (Wellington) and James Denholm (West Coast North Island) at the end of a tactical race.
Now held as a 10km scratch, the Laykold Cup has a history running more than 80 years and is one of the North Island's classic track cycling events with a full programme of supporting events taking place during the day.
With the field more or less intact at third distance, attacks began coming thick and fast with Wellington's Waluszewski and George Jackson breaking off the front to open up a healthy lead. The bunch behind whittled down as the pace went on to close the gap to the escapees. With six laps to go there were just five riders left together at the front, and Pat Crowe-Rishworth made his bid for glory.
It wasn't to be however, and led by Bike Manawatu's Castle, Crowe-Rishworth was overhauled in the final 100m. Despite leading out, Castle's rapid sprint was too much for Waluszewski and Denholm.
Nick Warren retained the Masters 8km Stayers Cup with a hard-fought win over Jason McCarty (both Wellington). The duo chipped away from the bunch with six laps left on the board and opened up a comfortable margin. However, with two laps remaining, cat and mouse tactics came into play with McCarty forcing Warren to lead the final sprint out. Warren kicked hard though and McCarty wasn't able to come round, finishing just half a wheel behind. Harry Kent was third.
Sophie Bloxham (Levin) became the first under 17 rider to win the Women's 8km Poneke Plate, firing out of the peloton on the final lap and crossing the line two clear bike lengths ahead of 2009 champion Hannah Latta (Wellington). Amy Horn was third ahead of Sarah Barclay.
In the junior omniums, George Jackson won the under 17 boys ahead of his Wellington team pursuit team mates Sam Tillotson and Thomas McCullum. Sophie Bloxham headed up the under 17 girls with Amy Horn and Grace Saywell in second and third respectively.
In the under 15s, Damian Hussey (Wanganui) rode strongly to win ahead of Wellington's Louis Hodgkinson and Ben Buyuk while Amelia Taylor (Wellington) won the girls. Ben Leslie and Matt McCarty were joint winners of the under 13 ominium, and Zoe Perry won the under 13 girls ahead of Maia Vertongen.
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Photos ©PNP Cycling Club:
Laykold1 - Pat Crowe-Rishworth leads Jordan Castle and James Denholm in the Laykold Cup 10km Scratch Race at Wellington Velodrome, February 15.
Laykold 2 - Jordan Castle leads what remains of the field into the deciding stages of the Laykold Cup.
StayersCup - The Masters bunch taking part in the 8km Stayers Cup Scratch Race at Wellington Velodrome, February 15. Nick Warren (in second) went on to win.
Poneke Plate - The women's peloton during the Poneke Plate 8km Scratch Race at the Wellington Velodrome 2015. Sophie Bloxham (yellow and blue Levin skinsuit) went on to win.