Professional rider Kiaan Watts broke a six week sequence winning the Spoken Cycles sponsored winter series A grade race at Goodwood in Cambridge.

There had been six different winners for the six previous races. Watts started the ball rolling by winning the opening time trial at Goodwood, followed by Sam Gaze winning week two's road race at Puahue, Corbin Strong (week 3) Ngahinapouri, Hayden McCormick (week 4) Goodwood; Nick Kergozou (week 5) Puahue, and George Jackson (week 6) Ngahinapouri..

Week seven's race on the speedy Goodwood circuit started as usual with a nice pace line for the first half of the race.

Watts said a few attacks started to fly in the closing stages but the wind was just too strong for any meaningful moves off the front to stay.


"The sprint was fairly straightforward with a crosswind, meaning the sprint started on the left hand gutter and I managed to find a good wheel to follow and kick around with about 150 metres to go."

Watts emerged the victor in a 17-strong sprint finish, all credited with the same time of 52.36 minutes.

Second place went to Scotland's World Cup points race winner Mark Stewart (Great Britain) whose temporary home is Cambridge where he is staying with Kiwi girlfriend, former World junior team sprint champion Emma Cumming.

Third in the dash for the line was Olympian Aaron Gate, who currently rides for UCI Continental team Black Spoke Pro Cycling Academy, along with Watts and fellow Te Awamutu Sports CC members Hayden McCormick and Xander White.

Watts said Goodwood was a nice course that plays to his strengths.

"I'm happy that I could show my form after lockdown and have a few morale boosting wins. There's a super strong field every week so I'm sure (race win) number three for me would be very hard to come by."

Watts' biggest career win to date would have to be partnering Christchurch teenager Laurence Pithie to victory in the Madison at the Junior World Track Cycling Championships in Germany in 2019.

The pair dominated the two-rider Madison on the final day of the championships that attracted 350 riders from 40 nations to the Oderlandhalle Velodrome in Frankfurt-Oder, finishing a remarkable 49 points ahead of Germany on 35 and France on 27 for the 30km race.


Watts, along with other elite riders, is now focussing on the local racing scene in New Zealand due to the cancellation of European and international racing stints.

"With the Dynamo series and also the Tour Of Southland taking place in the latter part of the year, it will be a busy one," he says.

"Our Black Spoke riders from the squad (based locally) race most weekends. Our team enjoyed a good start to the year so even though there haven't been many races to showcase the team and its potential, I'm sure we will be able to keep that ball rolling once the international circuit resumes."

The mission of the Black Spoke Pro Cycling Academy is to have as many team members as possible progress to top Pro Continental and World Tour teams.

Black Spoke seeks the best cycling talent from Kaitaia to the Bluff. Te Awamutu Sports CC supplies four of the 10 riders presently in the academy supported by an incredible network of brands passionate about the future of New Zealand cycling.

After seven of 10 races, George Jackson and Hayden McCormick jointly lead the A grade winter series, run by TASC, sitting on 54 points, from Corbin Strong on 50, Watts 48, James Harvey 44 and Jack Carswell 42.


Race seven's B to E grade winners were: Mike Gilbert (B), Alex Colquhoun (C even), James Ward (C odd), Peter Quax (D), Kevin Baker (E).

The Under 15 sealed handicap winner was Grace Johnston. Fastest time went to Frankie Wright.

Week eight on Sunday doubles as the John Pulman Memorial handicap race at Puahue.

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