Cycling Australia has entered its crack junior team in the Jayco Tour of Tasmania scheduled to take place later this month. The Australian federation usually sends a seven-man junior team to the New Zealand national road championships in late October, but this year the squad will tackle the Tassie Tour instead.
"Most of these boys are aged 18 or 19 and the Tassie Tour will be a big step up for them," Cycling Australia’s chief executive officer Graham Fredericks said. "These are the riders of the future - they will find out a lot about themselves in Tasmania and will benefit from the experience."
The Jayco Tour, first held last year, will be raced in 11 stages from October 24-29. Competitors face 82 intermediate sprints and 18 testing hill climbs during the 594km event, which will be the final round of the 2006 Tattersall’s Cup series.
The Australian junior team, managed by Launceston’s Ron Bryan, will include Ricky Peoples, Stuart Grimsey, Daniel Braunsteins (Victoria), Reuben Young, Christos Winter (South Australia), Tim Guy (NSW) and Matthew McDonagh (Tasmania).
Tour de France star Kjell Carlström, of Finland, and England’s Kristian House, winner of the 2006 Tour of Ireland, will be among the junior squad’s experienced overseas opponents. Carlström, 29, finished second in a Tour de France stage this year and won Finland’s national road championship in 2004. Queensland’s David Kemp, winner of the road race at Ballarat’s Australian Grand Prix meeting in August, is also among the early entries, which close on October 16.