Archive for May, 2013

Ararat Junior Tour – Part II

Posted: May 31, 2013 in Opinion

Seems my previous post about the Ararat JT has caused a bit of a stir.  I guess in a sense that’s what it was designed to do!  Rereading it, although it contained nothing but the facts, it possibly was a bit harsh; especially on the officials who were working on the tour… so I’ve decided to remove it from this blog.  (Note to self: don’t write posts immediately after a negative experience… sleep on it first!)

In the previous post I did bring to light all the positives from the tour… and they remain.  The Ararat Club, in fact any club that runs a JT, from a cycling parents POV, should be congratulated and encouraged and supported… perhaps this got a little lost in pointing out all the issues that this particular tour encountered.  While I didn’t single anyone out, if anyone felt offended, I apologise.  Junior racing would cease if it wasn’t for clubs, volunteers and officials.

Hopefully those charged with making change can take much of the feedback from the tour and use it in a constructive way.  I do understand that when things go wrong at a tour like this, those in charge are easy targets.  It’s not easy to run an event of this magnitude but it is something that others manage to do successfully and CV and its JT host clubs need to continue to work to improve their event delivery.

Lets hope the fallout means that in the future the Ararat JT, and all the other Victorian and other state’s JT’s, think even harder about how they can promote the best event they possibly can… and not just do what they did last year and the year before that and the year before that…

Over and out from CyclingDad

The Queens birthday weekend of the 8th-10th June (which I believe isn’t actually the Queens birthday at all??) offers so much for the junior cyclist in the southeast corner of the nation.  A traditional time for the various three-day tours in Victoria the Northern Combine is offering an electronically timed four-stage junior tour.  Run in grades and on terrific terrain it is well worth entering for riders of all abilities.  In fact, the Northern Combine Junior 3DT has a terrific record that those that race it go very well at the Shepparton Junior Tour the following week!

Another Victorian Junior Tour over this period that’s just been brought to my attention is the Bendigo Junior Tour – information and entry forms can be found under the ‘road’ heading.  From those that did it last year, I’m told its another terrific tour.

The Mersey Valley Junior Tour held on the Northwest coast of Tassie also sits on this long-weekend.  This tour often corresponds with an under-17 training camp so this category is usually very competitive. It also uses parts of the course that features in the under-19 tour (held earlier in the year) and which makes up part of the qualification for Junior World’s selection.  Handy to get a sighter for the following years!

Having seen this tour once first hand, I can recommend the course as one of the best on the junior tour calendar and, while it’s a bit of trip, the fact you get four stages in two-days leaves you the Monday to do some site seeing on the Apple Isle.

The tour starts with a time trial on a challenging out-and-back course in beautiful Sheffield.  This is followed by a road race around a course once used for a National Championships back in the day.  This is similar to the terrain found at the Santos JT – with lots of rolling hills mixed in with some decent climbs.

Day two is based at Railton – home to the handcrafted hedges – I kid you not.  The road race features more rolling hills with a mix of out-and-back and loop depending on the age categories.  The final stage is a kermesse around a 5km loop that takes in the not so picturesque concrete factory.

Hedges sculpted into all sorts of shapes adorn the gardens around Railton... a real treat not to be missed.

Hedges sculpted into all sorts of shapes adorn the gardens around Railton… a real treat not to be missed.

So, no excuses… get out and race this Queen’s birthday long weekend.  You’ll have a great time and improve your fitness and form for the remainder of the season.  Please let me know of any other junior tours or races over this period.