Southland's age group track cyclists are primed to win the province's eighth consecutive Points Shield in Cambridge.
The five-day national age group track cycling championship gets under way on Wednesday.
Following on from the elite and under-19 age group championships at the Avantidrome earlier this year, Southland has an 11-point lead over nearest challenger Canterbury, in the competition to find the strongest cycling centre.
Southland coach Sid Cumming said the province was particularly strong at under-17 boys' and under-15 girls' level.
"We've got eight under-17 boys, and they will medal in every event between them.
"Our teams racing in the pursuit and sprint is strong. In the [under-17] girls, Ellesse Andrews will win a medal, if not a gold one, in every event."
Southland's junior riders have had a chance to test their legs on the Cambridge velodrome, which is a different shape to Invercargill's SIT Velodrome.
"There are some subtle differences, especially for riders trying to get back in the team pursuit and when you come down in the flying 200m line, just little things like that."
The Southland team had drawn heavily on the experience of their elite riders who are now based in Cambridge, with Eddie Dawkins, Matt Archibald, Pieter Bulling and Nick Kergozou all spending time with the young riders this week.
"Over the week they all come and talked to the kids, which is cool," Cumming said.
Article courtesy The Southland Times