Ninety-six riders will take to the ILT Velodrome this week chasing titles in the 2011 Southland track championships.
The McLeay Jewellers-sponsored event will be held across four sessions starting tonight, followed by sessions on Friday night and Saturday morning and evening.
It again will form a crucial part of rider's preparation for the upcoming RaboDirect elite and age-group championships, which are again to be staged in Invercargill from February 25.
Entrants in this year's championships span more than 60 years, from under-15 to masters grades, with the race programme starting with time trials and scratch races on Tuesday night.
Several northern riders have also entered and, although they are not eligible for Southland titles and medals, they are taking the opportunity for racing on the velodrome, including New Zealand elite representative Gemma Dudley. Other features include strong under-19 fields, which include local New Zealand representatives Pieter Bulling, Tom Beadle, Steph McKenzie and Sophie Williamson.
The more experienced riders will again be well represented with large fields, particularly in the men, lining up at the start line.
The championships will also feature paracyclists, including Phillipa Gray, along with her tandem pilot Laura Thompson.
They will be looking at continuing their rapid progress in tomorrow night's time trial.
Admission is free, with racing starting at 6pm.