ILT Festival of Speed

10 Dec

Way back during our time in New Zealand, we spent much of our work in Invercargill. This place, considered by many as the southernmost city in the region is known for having the only indoor velodrome in the country. Thus this is where the best of New Zealand’s track cyclists are formed and developed. One velodrome for a country brings both advantages and disadvantages but needless to say in a country as small as New Zealand, a single velodrome allows an amazing sense of community for the track cyclists. Heck, this must be the most tightly knit internationally competing world class track cycling community we’ve ever seen. The velodrome is maintained by the Invercargill Licensing Trust thus the ILT which sponsors this event along with Cycling Southland. The event was held last December 7-9 and despite the humble beginnings as chronicled HERE the support it got was pretty good which goes to show New Zealand is very supportive of this sport. Moreover, the events of the past few days have showed that New Zealand track cyclists are definitely one of the best in the world. Barely days after the Track World Cup (and winning some events) these same cyclists endure 3 more days of intense racing yet still deliver some impressive performances, one of which is the amazing dead heat between Eddie Dawkins and Simon van Velthooven (who BTW just recently celebrated his birthday last December 8 Happy birthday Simon!) shown by the photo below which ultimately ended with both being declared joint winners. More on the story with video HERE.

This would have been a very interesting event to attend were we still in the lands down under, and we fervently hope this event would grow into something bigger the same way Revolution grew up to be now (which also had very humble beginnings). We also wish such events will be held locally in the U.S. hoping it would grow into something bigger. Oh well, yeah T-town is exciting stuff and so are the Track Worlds but we think it’s better for our cyclists to be able to engage in more racing events so as to develop them better. Training is good, racing is better is what a lot of cyclists would think and we tend to agree. But anyway, back to the ILT, we’re really very excited at how Myron Simpson and Aaron Gate have developed as madison riders. We remember them as junior cyclists who had a very promising career and that promise has come. Their performance is indeed exemplary and we can’t wait to see more of their races in the future.

Here’s a photo gallery of the events. (Photos by NZPA’s Dianne Manson)

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