Southland will be represented by some quality young track riders at next month's Oceania Championships in Adelaide.
The seeds for a Southland team travelling to Adelaide were sown five months ago when a crop of talented riders missed out on selection in the New Zealand junior team.
While Southland has contributed 10 riders to the national squad for the Oceania championships, another seven junior and two elites will wear the Cycling Southland strip in Adelaide from October 8-11.
Prepared by Sid Cumming and Dave Beadle, the self-funded squad has trained extremely hard, including a recent camp, at which the juniors trained every day of the school holidays.
"You don't know what the Australians are going to be like but we will be very competitive. Brayden Stephens, Hayden Strong, Jack Pedler and Carne Groube are our men's pursuit team and they'll be right there with the New Zealand team," Cumming said.
"[Sprinter] Brad Knipe is going just as fast as Hamish Beadle in training, and Hamish is in the New Zealand team."
Ben Stewart and Kirstie James will be coached and managed by London Olympian Natasha Hansen in Australia, with Hansen's own riding currently hampered by a frustrating back injury.
AT A GLANCE
Southland Oceania Championship team:
Elite: Ben Stewart, Kirstie James.
Under 19s: Aly Doherty, Kendall Kilpatrick, Hayden Strong, Jack Pedler, Brad Knipe, Brayden Stephens, Carne Groube.
Article & photo courtesy Fairfax