Australian track cyclists will be present at the Midvale Speed Dome in Perth, WA, this Saturday to do battle on the boards of the tightly banked 250m indoor track. The Perth International Grand Prix will be the last major event for the Australian junior track cycling team before it heads overseas for the World Championships in Austria next month.
WAIS cycling coach Darryl Benson said the Speed Dome track, with its unique combination of steep banking and tight corners, was ideal preparation for what awaits the team in Austria. "The team has returned from a very specific training camp in Queensland and is looking to get some more zip into their legs as they prepare to take on the senior riders in the Grand Prix," Mr Benson said. "This event offers the junior riders a snap shot of the world championships by having to race against older more experienced cyclist in a highly competitive environment."
The junior team will take on an open field of the world's best, including dual Olympic gold medallist Ryan Bayley, who has just returned from 10 weeks racing on the professional Keirin circuit in Japan. Local Junior U19 cyclist Scott Sunderland said he would use the GP as the forum to continue to stamp his authority as the fastest rider and best prospect for Australia in the 1km event in Austria.
"I have posted the fastest times this year in the event and there is still plenty of room for improvement, but the selection will remain open right up until we arrive in Austria", Sunderland said.
Mr Benson added, "Scott has enormous potential and is an exciting prospect. He has incredible talent, which we have channeled into the track sprint events by increasing his strength and speed."
The first race of the Grand Prix will commence at 3pm.