The Junior Track Carnival begins on Tuesday in Invercargill with riders from throughout the country attending the event in Invercargill.
The carnival features 70 races over two nights and provides young riders from outside the region with an opportunity to race on the velodrome for the first time.
Cycling Southland Administration and Communications Officer Melissa Chilton said carnivals like this was a good starting point for junior cyclists.
"Most big name cyclists start riding in similar track carnival events, they're designed as fun but competitive race events and it is usually a common way to introduce juniors to the boards. Many of our young out of town newbies will be racing on the boards for the very first time, after just a little warm up and have a go day on Monday after the Junior Tour."
There are around one hundred entries with plenty of local hopefuls in the ILT Junior Track Carnival, which comes sandwiched between the Yunca Junior Tour of Southland and before the 2016 Oceania Track Cycling Championships, in an action packed week of cycling in Southland.
"Key local riders wanting to prove themselves on the boards will be under-15 girls Emily Paterson and Camryn Akeroyd. Sam Miller is also riding in Oceanias for New Zealand, while Mitchell Morris, Corbin Strong and Hamish Keast will be in strong form in the under-17s. New Zealand representative riders at the Oceanias like Brad Knipe and Tom Sexton will also be in fine form for top racing," she said.
Southland under-17 rider Hamish Keast is hoping for success at the track cycling meeting, but understands that plenty will depend on how he feels after the preceding three-day Junior Tour of Southland.
Keast won the under-17 division of the Junior Tour of Southland at the weekend.
"There will still be opportunities to do well on track after the road event, but it all depends on what happens on the day," he said.
Being from Southland, Keast is no stranger to the track, given the proximity of the velodrome.
The Junior Track Carnival is on Tuesday and Wednesday nights at the SIT Velodrome in Invercargill.
Photo and article courtesy The Southland Times