Dawkins wins keirin in front of home fans

Southland sprinter Eddie Dawkins has ridden the support of the home crowd to win the keirin at the Festival of Speed cycling meet in Invercargill.

Southland sprinter Eddie Dawkins brought the crowd to their feet as he took out the keirin final at the UCI Festival of Speed track cycling meet in Invercargill.

Dawkins reeled in Olympic bronze medallist Simon van Velthooven, who had made his move with two laps to go, and then held off a challenge by former world champion Shane Perkins of Australia.

Young local rider Tom Beadle pushed ahead of van Velthooven to finish third.

Dawkins says the fans lifted him during the race.

"It was so fast," he said.

"The Aussies always push it to the limit and I felt like I had another gear in front of the home crowd."

In the men's omnium, world champion Aaron Gate leads after two events having come fourth in the 200m flying lap and second in the 30km points race.

The women's omnium leader after two races is Olympian Lauren Ellis, a point ahead of fellow New Zealand representative Jaime Nielsen.

The two-day meet, which offers qualifying points for the 2016 Rio Olympics, marks the first time New Zealand has hosted a UCI tier-one competition and attracted entries from six nations.

Source: AAP

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