Some fine form meant some fierce battles on the boards last night as Cycling Southland's ILT New Year Carnival kicked off action for 2014 at the SIT Zero Fees Velodrome.
With more than 100 entrants from throughout the country spread across elite, senior and age group fields, the first night of Carnival action ensured some well-contested racing across all grades as many continued their buildup to the track nationals in March.
The women's invitation keirin was a formidable battle of strength and wit as Southland's elite sprinter Steph McKenzie said farewell before departing for Cambridge and held off Canterbury's gritty battler Elizabeth Steel, from a fast returning to form Sequoia Cooper (Southland).
Meanwhile, in the men's open keirin, Southland rider Karl Watson blazed down from the top of the track with three to go to beat new BikeNZ Elite representatives Nick Kergozou in second, and Jeremy Presbury in third.
The Carnival action continues today from 6.30pm and the New Year series will continue with the Ascot Park Hotel Criterium tomorrow from 10.30am and the 84th Invercargill Classic road race on Monday night.
- The Southland Times