This Sunday Aaron Wyllie will be in the thick of the Auckland Grammar team time trial riders for race five of a series they have dominated this cycling season.
The 16-year-old Year 12 student at Auckland Grammar School is showing himself to be a force on the track and road, and has already gained recognition at junior level with Bike NZ.
Wyllie, like the rest of the Auckland Grammar cycling team, known as the Grammar Hammer, draws inspiration from Olympian old boys Sam Webster and Aaron Gate. Their technique and endurance is honed by experienced coach Aaron Strong and Wyllie quips that it is good to have someone fit enough to keep up in training and not just bark instructions from a car.
Wyllie is coming off a big July where he won the award for best overall male track cyclist at the North Island schools cycling championships. He was a non-travelling reserve for the national Under 19 track team to Canada.
But he has an even bigger September lined up. He races in the New Zealand schools individual champs in Mt Wellington on September 3-4 and three weeks later in the national schools road champs. Auckland Grammar, along with Palmerston North BHS, Takapuna Grammar and St Kentigern, will be among the contenders.
So does Wyllie prefer track or road cycling?
"I really enjoy both of them. There's probably more of a pathway through track cycling in the New Zealand system," he says.
To that end, his major 2017 goal is to make the New Zealand team for the junior world track champs. Longer-term, the 2020 or 2024 Olympics is a carrot for Wyllie, and that will mean a lot more time spent training at the velodrome in Cambridge. He already puts in 13-15 hours a week on the bike, a mix of erg, track work in Manukau (weather permitting) or dodging Auckland traffic.
All in a week's work for Wyllie, who has to be organised.
"You come home from training, smash out the homework and go to bed pretty much straight after that," he says.
Auckland Grammar's cycling programme has more than 50 boys involved, giving it good depth and numbers and making it one of the largest around. The seniors rally behind captain Benjamin Hamilton. It's no accident that the school holds the Sir Bernard Fergusson Trophy for the national team time trial champions.
"I think it helps that everyone is really competitive at the school. There are good coaches and a platform to work off. The young riders all aspire to be like the older riders and the older riders look after the young ones," Wyllie says.
Throw in a healthy sprinkling of talent, strong team work ethic and group dynamic, some passionate and knowledgeable parental support, and it is a winning combination.
Counties Manukau premier at Manurewa Netball Centre:
Finals: 1-2: Pukekohe Gold v Manurewa, 4.40pm; 3-4: Rosehill v James Cook Puutake, 3.50pm; 5-6: Strathallan Navy v Sir Edmund Hillary, 5.40pm; 7-8: Alfriston v Papatoetoe, 5.40pm
Greater Auckland premier girls APC Knockout Cup finals: 1-2: MAGS v St Kentigern at Seddon Field, 6pm; 3-4: Rangitoto v St Cuthbert's
Counties Manukau Senior A1 Championship boys (4pm): Waiuku Gold v Pukekohe Red, Rosehill v Ormiston
Super City premier boys' semifinals (tier one): 1 v 4: Auckland Grammar v Rosmini, 7pm; 2 v 3: Kristin v Westlake BHS at Harbour, 6.20pm; 5 v 8: Kingsway v St Kentigern at Harbour, 5.10pm; 6 v 7: MAGS v King's at Mt Roskill Grammar
Auckland SS girls' division one championships, Keith Hay Park
First XV (boys)
North Harbour 1A final (5.05pm): Westlake BHS v Massey, QBE Stadium
SuperCity premier girls' semifinals (tier one): 1 v 4: St Cuthbert's v St Kentigern at LEP, 5.10pm; 2 v 3: Diocesan v Westlake GHS, 6.10pm; 5 v 8: Orewa v Rangitoto at Harbour, 5.10pm; 6 v 7: King's v Kristin at Harbour, 6.20pm
Greater Auckland Teams' Champs of Champs, North Harbour Table Tennis Stadium
Premier girls' semifinals, North Shore Events Centre (6pm): AGGS v Rangitoto, Westlake GHS v MAGS
Premier boys' semifinals, NSEC: Rangitoto v Auckland Grammar, 6pm; Rosmini v Westlake BHS, 7.30pm
Counties Manukau Clash of the Smash, Counties Manukau Badminton Hall, Papakura
First XV (boys)
Auckland 1A final (2.30pm): MAGS v Sacred Heart, Eden Park
Auckland 1B final (12pm): Tamaki v Liston, Eden Park
Central North Island final (2.40pm): St Paul's Collegiate v St Peter's (Cambridge)
Chiefs' regional playoff (12pm): Wesley v Rotorua BHS
Premier league boys (12pm): St Kentigern v St Peter's, Macleans v Westlake BHS, Auckland Grammar v Sacred Heart, Mt Roskill Grammar v MAGS
Auckland premier one, Auckland Netball Centre:
9.30am: MAGS v McAuley, Baradene v One Tree Hill, EGGS v Avondale
10.30am: St Kentigern v Massey, Westlake GHS v Howick, Aorere v St Mary's
Auckland SS teams time trial race five, Pukekohe, 7.30am
First XV boys
Auckland 1A semifinals: MAGS 30 St Peter's 10
Sacred Heart 22 (Melino Huihui'Uia, Terry Pongi, Lemeki Namoa tries; Ben Engels 2 con, pen) St Kentigern 17 (Etene Nanai 2 tries; Carlos Price 2 con, pen) HT: 10-7 St Kentigern
North Harbour 1A semifinals: Westlake BHS 32 Whangarei BHS 5, Massey 13 Rosmini 11
Counties Manukau/Waikato final: St John's (Hamilton) 22 Manurewa 7; Plate final: Pukekohe 46 Rosehill 5
Central North Island: Wesley 59 Rathkeale 0, St Peter's (Cambridge) 41 St John's (Hastings) 20
Super 8 final: Hastings BHS 30 Hamilton BHS 8
Auckland 1B Championship semifinals: Tamaki 22 Tangaroa 8, Liston 34 One Tree Hill 5
1B Plate semifinals: Pakuranga 22 Avondale 20, Mt Roskill Grammar 50 Southern Cross 5
Auckland schoolgirls' 15s: Avondale 17 Kelston GC 5, Aorere 27 AGGS 17, Tamaki 20 Manurewa 15, Southern Cross 17 Onehunga 7
Premier league: Sacred Heart 3 (Lucas Imrie 2, Matt Palmer goals) Mt Roskill Grammar 1 (Gilberto Souza Dias), Westlake BHS 4 Auckland Grammar 4 (Kritt Twigg 2, Christopher Colbert, Justin Bailey), St Kentigern 4 (Dylan Morris 2, Charles Spragg 2) Macleans 0, MAGS 1 (Jimmy Banks) St Peter's 1 (Niko Steinmetz)
Points: Sacred Heart 37, St Kentigern 30, Mt Roskill Grammar 23, Auckland Grammar 22, Westlake BHS 14, MAGS 11, St Peter's 5, Macleans 3
*Sacred Heart have wrapped up their third consecutive Auckland title, and fourth in five seasons.
Senior A1: Kelston BHS 3 Rosmini 0, Rangitoto 2 Glendowie 2, King's 2 Rosmini 2, Rutherford 4 Onehunga 1, Kelston BHS 4 Pakuranga 0
Greater Auckland APC Knockout Cup:
Premier division one: MAGS 1 Rangitoto 0; St Kentigern 2 St Cuthbert's 0; Baradene 2 Green Bay 1; Takapuna 4 Diocesan 0; Pukekohe 2 Massey 1; Howick 2 Westlake GHS 0
CRL premier grand finals
Championship: St Paul's 23 (Star Toa, Duken Williams, Dylan Tavita, Sione Ngahe tries; Tavita 3 goals, drop goal) Wesley 10 (Saia Latu, Larenz Tupaea tries; Adam Pompey goal) HT: 16-4
*St Paul's win their second consecutive CRL title.
Pennant: Manurewa 10 Southern Cross 8
Bowl: Papatoetoe 14 Sir Edmund Hillary 10
Premier boys (tier one)
Rosmini 5 St Kentigern 0; Westlake BHS 3 Kingsway 1; Kristin 5 King's 0; Auckland Grammar 2 MAGS 1
Premier girls (tier one)
St Cuthbert's 9 Rangitoto 0; St Kentigern 2 Orewa 0; Westlake GHS 3 King's 0; Diocesan 2 Kristin 0
MAGS 75 Rangitoto 65, Massey 73 St Kentigern 70, Westlake GHS 94 Orewa 24, MAGS 83 St Kentigern 33
Rangitoto 54 MAGS 45, Kelston BHS 88 Auckland Grammar 86, Rosmini 98 Westlake BHS 89
Auckland premier one
MAGS 53 Massey 16, One Tree Hill 38 McAuley 33, Baradene 33 Avondale 24, Westlake GHS 60 St Mary's 22, EGGS 46 Aorere 40, St Kentigern 37 Howick 24
Points (after 10 rounds): St Kentigern 40, MAGS 37, EGGS 31, Westlake GHS 30, Howick 22, One Tree Hill 20, Baradene 20, Aorere 17, McAuley 14, Massey 8, St Mary's 5, Avondale 1
Counties Manukau premier semifinals: Pukekohe Gold 22 Rosehill Gold 21; Manurewa 43 James Cook Puutake 26; Strathallan Navy 22 Alfriston 16; Sir Edmund Hillary 30 Papatoetoe 26
North Harbour premier
Round four: Long Bay 38 Orewa 18, Westlake GHS 44 Pinehurst 26, Whangaparaoa 38 Rangitoto 26, Carmel 48 Kaipara 16
Auckland premier girls' final
MAGS 10 EGGS 9 (golden goal)
Auckland SS A premier grade Knockout
Auckland Grammar A 7 Auckland Grammar C 0, Macleans A 4 Pakuranga 1, St Kentigern 5 Macleans B 2, Auckland Grammar B 4 Botany Downs 3
Macleans A 7 St Kentigern A 0, Auckland Grammar A 6 Auckland Grammar B 1; (5-8): Pakuranga A 4 Macleans B 3, Botany Downs A 5 Auckland Grammar C 2