Boost to grass-roots track racing in Sydney, while elite riders prepare for annual events

$40,000 later

$40,000 later (Image credit: Greg Johnson)

Possibly due to Australia's ever popular road scene, track racing at grass roots level has suffered a decline in recent years but may soon be back in focus with a 14 week-long series being held every Thursday at Sydney's Canterbury Velodrome.

"It's a bit of a tradition, track racing is pretty big in Australia and has kind of gone by the way side in terms of day to day competition," says Chris Reynolds of event sponsors, Excelpro. "With the Sydney Thousand and some other events it's starting to get back on the map; it's one of those sports where you don't need to have thousands of dollars to ride"

The outdoor 333 metre track recently underwent a AUD$40,000 makeover prior to the Sydney Thousand, including cleaning and smoothing of the existing surface, new grandstand seats, safety rails and repair of a collapsed pier underneath the track's eastern end. The aim of the events is to make track racing more accessible to the growing number of road cyclists in Australia's largest city.

Across the city at Dunc Gray Velodrome, venue for the 2000 Olympics and round of the UCI's Track World Cup, the four-day Australian Youth Olympic Festival will kick off on January 17. The following week will see both the Orbea Australia Sydney Cup on Wheels and the New South Wales Junior Championships on the baltic pine boards.

The 25th Anniversary Clarence St Cyclery Cup will take place on February 3 and should attract some of the high-calibre field that will be making its way to Sydney for the Australian National Track Championships which begin three days later.

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