The first round of the inaugural Cycling Australia National Junior Track Series (NJTS) will hit the boards this Friday at Sydney's Dunc Gray Velodrome.
The series is a club based competition for under 15 and under 17 year old cyclists and aims to aid the transition to elite racing and support the future of track cycling within Australia. It's hoped it will also underpin the growth of Cycling Australia's high performance talent base.
The Series will feature five rounds staged at major indoor velodromes around Australia:
• October 7 - Sydney Dunc Gray Velodrome
• October 22 - Melbourne DISC Velodrome
• November 19 - Launceston Silverdrome
• December 10 - Perth Speed Dome
• January 17 - Adelaide Super-Drome
Presented by the Santos Tour Down Under, the Series is also supported by Jayco and Shimano, with the GreenEdge cycling team also backing the project.
More than 150 cyclists from around Australia will line up in the opening round which features events with an emphasis on speed and skills.
Cycling Australia CEO Graham Fredericks says the new series will provide important racing opportunities for junior cyclists.
"We're hoping to encourage a new generation of track cyclists through this series and build on our current stocks for the long term," said Fredericks. "We've had a constant stream of world class athletes come through the track programs at national and state institute level but we need to make sure the talent flow continues.
"Many of the champions we've produced on the track here at home have gone on to the world stage and achieved great success including Olympic Games glory."
Australia achieved record results at this year's senior track world titles in Apeldoorn in March, winning eight of the 19 gold medals on offer including six of the 10 Olympic events contested at the championship.
"But it's extremely important for our sport to continue to plan ahead, beyond the 2012 London Olympics, and establish a junior track racing development platform," Fredericks stated. "That's what this series is."
The NJTS will also deliver a series of fun, interactive development workshops for riders, coaches and officials. On Friday, 2002 sprint world champion Sean Eadie, now coach of Cycling Australia's Sprint Academy, will conduct a session on 'Warm up Techniques for Track Racing'.
For more information, visit the Cyling Australia website by clicking here.