June long weekend = options a plenty

Posted: May 13, 2013 in Opinion, Racing

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.

  1. It seems the Bendigo Tour has J11/13 together and split A/B/C and the same for 15/17.
    This should get a more even spread of talent and numbers particularly for the younger riders and girls.

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