The ‘Virtual Track National Challenge’, a Cycling Australia initiative, will bring the country’s track cyclists together this weekend in a series of challenges held in their home states.
With COVID-19 restrictions forcing the cancellation and postponement of most races and events across Australia and the world since March, the Challenge will provide cyclists with a chance to get back on track.
For many, the Virtual Track Challenge will be a chance to reconnect with friends and their local cycling club, while for some, it will be a chance to impress national team selectors for the 2021 Junior Track World Championships, and state team selectors for December’s 2020 Track National Championships in Brisbane.
The inaugural Challenge will see riders in the J15, J17, J19. Para or Elite categories contest the Flying 200M, Individual Pursuit, Time Trial Team Sprint and Team Pursuit at their primary Indoor Velodrome in their home state or territory.
Across October 2-3-4, Sydney’s Dunc Gray Velodrome, the Anna Meares Velodrome in Brisbane, Adelaide Superdrome, Western Australia’s SpeedDome plus the Darwin and Alice Springs Velodrome will host the Challenge.
Western Australia will open proceedings on Friday evening, with a host of junior riders looking to impress selectors including WAIS athletes James Derrick and Oliver Bleddyn, plus Zara Williamson (JW17), Sophie McPhail and Finlay McRobbie (JM15).
In South Australia, Australian Cycling Team Podium Potential Academy athletes will line up across all events, including both team pursuit events. The sprint events will feature 2020 World Championship bronze medallist Tom Cornish, plus Kristina Clonan who continues her transition from endurance to sprint. Godfrey Slattery and Sophie Edwards headline the endurance events.
As the country celebrates twenty years since the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, the site of track cycling for those Games - Dunc Gray Velodrome - will host the combined New South Wales and ACT event.
Former junior world champion in the team pursuit Josie Talbot, and recent signing to Spanish professional road team Cronos Casa Dorada, plus rising young sprinter Danny Barber who broke the Australian under-17 Flying 200m record in 2019, will be two to watch.
Paralympian and reigning world champion in the C2 500-metre individual time trial Amanda Reid will be looking to lay down a benchmark in her pet event as she has sights set on the Tokyo Paralympic Games.
Northern Territory’s event will take place on Saturday afternoon at two locations - Darwin and Alice Springs.
The focus for the Darwin Cycling Club remains on ensuring a fun racing opportunity for all juniors. The event will take place on an outdoor 330m bitumen track with minimal slope and one straight, and as the Territory builds into the wet season with very high humidity and temperatures, racing should be hot!
While in the Alice, they are keen to see the progression of two junior riders in Jack Farrell and Michael Harrison.
For Queensland, two of its rising stars will lead their Challenge event in former Australian Junior Team members James Moriarty and Francesca Sewell. Moriarty moves into the Elite Category determined to continue his rise in the Individual Pursuit, while Sewell is looking for a strong end to her Under 19 results.
Tasmania’s Silverdome and Melbourne’s DISC Velodrome will host events later in the month.
Results will be published live online at each velodrome where the state and territory winners will be determined and announced. A nationalised live timing app will centralise the results as they happen throughout the country.
The times recorded at each velodrome across Australia will be standardised using an approach developed by staff at the Australian Cycling Team. Staff from the Team have evaluated each of the velodromes based on past performances. They will take into account the barometric pressure and temperatures in each velodrome in the calculation of results.
The event will also provide a key preparation opportunity for teams and riders as they build towards the 2020 Track National Championships in Brisbane from 16-20 December.
Visit the official Start Lists & Results Page