Ninety years after the Laykold Cup was first presented, the 2018 edition of Wellington’s biggest track cycling race will take place January 28 at the Wellington Velodrome. Now taking the form of a 10km Open Scratch Race, the Laykold Cup is one of the highlights of a full day of racing which also includes the Poneke Plate for women, the Stayers Cup for masters and the Junior Wheelrace Grand Prix.
Cash prizes are up for grabs on every race, for every grade. Last year’s Laykold Cup winner Carne Groube, a rising star on road and track, will not be back to defend his title so the trophy is wide open. A Wellington rider has not won it since 2011 when Lee Evans sprinted to victory. Evans will be taking part and with his focus being on sprinting, he could win it again providing he can get to the finale with some energy left.
Pat Crowe-Rishworth leads the other local favourites, and has come close before, preferring long distance breakaways. Others in the mix will be under 19 road specialist Henry Levett, and experienced riders Matt Sharland, Grant Perry and Gideon Burke.
Grace Saywell defends her Poneke Plate but Bridget Olphert and Zoe Perry will be aiming for an upset. Out-of-town riders could also make things hard, especially Sophie-Leigh Bloxham who won in 2015 and 2016.
The Junior Handicapped Wheelrace Grand Prix is held over one kilometre (three laps) and is open to all riders under 17. Qualifying heats are run in age groups, with all riders coming together for a final, with younger riders generally given a good headstart. Jackson Moyle won the 2017 race ahead of Millie Donald and Lucy Fulljames.
The event kicks off at midday, January 28 at the Wellington Velodrome in Hataitai, entry is just $5 for juniors, $7 for everyone else. Spectators go free.