23/08/2011 - Cycling Southland is again strongly represented in BikeNZ Development’s junior track squads named for training camps in Invercargill with an eye to the upcoming Oceania Championships at the ILT Velodrome in November.
Fresh from her bronze medal at the UCI Juniors World Track Championships, Alexandra’s Sophie Williamson joins fellow Southland representatives Kate Dunlevey and Tom Beadle in Oceania Training squad.
Meanwhile a second squad has also been announced with a view to forming a Development team for the Oceania Championships. Josh Haggerty, Michael Culling, Jen Muhl, Laura Heywood and Brooke Brazier all earned selection meaning Southlanders make up a quarter of the 20-strong squad.
Cycling Southland’s Chief Executive Nick Jeffrey added his congratulations today. “We are delighted to see the emphasis BikeNZ Road and Track is placing on Development squads. The NZ Junior team showed in Moscow over the last week just what was possible. 13 top-four finishers from 16 starts shows the depth that is being created in the sport here in New Zealand. We know the giant strides our elite High Performance programme has made over the last four or five years and to see that base widening at a junior and development level augers well for the future.”
The ILT Velodrome will become a home-away-from-home for the BikeNZ squad in October. “Southlanders are going to be in for a real treat. In October we host the ILT Junior Track Carnival and National Elite Omnium Championships as part of our annual October track event and the racing, along with the elite and development camps BikeNZ will host will be the first key selection events looking to next year’s Olympics and Junior Worlds. With so many athletes now putting themselves into the selection frame not one of them can rest on any laurels. That means the punters watching are going to be the big winners.”
Cycling Southland will host the ILT Track Carnival from October 18th to 20th following its annual Yunca Junior Road Tour. The event will feature the Trans-Tasman Junior Challenge and the National Elite Omnium Championships on the 18th and 19th, and finish with Open Carnival racing on Thursday the 20th. The Oceania Track Championships will also be held in Invercargill this year from November 21-24.
Jeffrey said, “It’s going to be a massive six weeks for cycling in the south. To host these two vitally-important track events along with the Yunca Junior Tour and PowerNet Tour of Southland over that period is going to keep us busy but we are all going to get the best seats in the house as the country’s best in the business battle to impress selectors. There will be no holding back. The Australians are in the same boat and they have just added to the number of elite riders they will be bringing over for the Oceania Champs so it’s all shaping up tremendously well.”
Meanwhile Jeffrey is also buoyed by feedback from international teams ahead of next year’s UCI Juniors World Track Championships in Invercargill. “We passed the one year to go mark yesterday (Monday) and we have been delighted with the feedback coming from this year’s event in Moscow”, Jeffrey said. Southern cycling identity Graham Sycamore has been waving the Southland flag over the last week in Russia and reports that interest is high. “The other positive news is the lengthy build-ups and, in some cases, multiple trips to Invercargill some international teams are planning. With the event only a handful of weeks following the London Olympics we have been very active in promoting the event well ahead of time internationally. That seems to be paying off and we couldn’t have picked a better man than Syccie to extol the virtues of our facility and our region to the cycling world.”
Cycling Southland will host the UCI Juniors World Track Championships at the ILT Velodrome in Invercargill from August 22-26 2012. It will be the first time the championships have been held in New Zealand since 1983.