Archive for April, 2014

There’s nothing better than getting away for the weekend with the family… especially when the destination is beautiful Bright, the gateway to Victoria’s high country.  The Australian Junior Mountain Climbing Championships was the reason for the trip and ‘family’ from all over Australia made the trek… cycling family that is.  Mums, dads, grandparents, uncles, aunties and of course kids came from all parts.  They flew for hours from the West, caught the boat up from the South and drove for days from the North, all for the kids to race up a big mountain.

These families show amazing commitment and are the reason the wheels on the bikes keep going around.  I really enjoy these events where you get to catch up with fellow cycling parents you only see a handful of times each year.  The kids love it to with the older kids out on the bikes when the racing is done calling into motel complexes all throughout the town to catch up with their interstate mates.  Not mates they see everyday at school or from across the road, but mates who share the same joys and challenges of racing a bike.

The start 'village' for the Saturday TT.  Couldn't complain… it even offered decent coffee!

The start ‘village’ for the Saturday TT. Couldn’t complain… it even offered decent coffee!

The event was close to not going ahead this year due to ‘permit issues’.  Thankfully these were resolved and some 150 kids turned up to try their luck and test their form against each other and against the mount.  The timing of the event has always been a matter for discussion, often coming hot off the heels of the Junior Track Nationals.  This year there was enough of a gap to allow the kids that raced this event to have a bit of time off the bike and still get some road kilometres in to prepare for the challenge.

The racing was hot under blue bird skies in beautiful Bright.

The racing was hot under blue bird skies in beautiful Bright.

For the under-19’s the event forms one of three selection races for Junior Worlds consideration, so is pretty important and hotly contested.  For the under-15 and under-17s, its just a well run event with live timing and a challenging parcours to kick off road season.  It’s such a hard event that if you’re a little bit off, you’re really found out… you can easily lose big chunks of minutes in the TT and not have ridden that bad!  Then, when it comes to the road race, well, if you’re on a bad day… it can fast become the worst day you’ve had on the bike.

I won’t do a race review – as this site wasn’t set up for that – but there were some outstanding performances on the weekend including:

  • Sebastian Berwick’s comeback race where he finished 4th on GC as the dominate bottom-age rider.
  • Tassie JM15 Eddy Calvert taking Mitch Wright to a sprint in the road race.
  • Ashleigh Hocking’s coming of age with a great win in the JW17 road race to secure GC as well.
  • Sarah Gigante’s awesome TT, smashing the record by 20-seconds with a 10.07!
  • Tom McDonald’s TT and GC win riding the road race from the front to ensuring the overall win.
  • Joel Hawkins – unheard off outside of Carnegie Crits grabbing second in the RR and second on GC in JM17.
  • Dominate victories by Anna-Leeza Hull in both he TT and RR to win JW19 GC by over 4.30!
  • The trifecta by Lucas Hamilton in the JM19 winning TT, RR and GC.

Here’s a link to some mainly JM17 photos taken by a parent.  If you’ve got any photos feel free to post a link in the comments.

The junior calendar now rolls on to Adelaide for the Santos Junior Tour.  Good luck to all making the trip over to Radelaide!