A Radical* Plan for Junior Road Championships

Posted: August 4, 2014 in Opinion, Racing
Tags: , ,

Tassie held its State Junior Road Championships in May; and its ITT & Crit Championships in July.

South Australia held its State Junior Championships in early-June.

Queensland held its in July and Victoria’s were on the weekend just gone.

WA is holding its Junior Championships this coming weekend and the NSW champs is on in a fortnight at Wagga Wagga (it is open to interstate riders BTW).

Tassie and Queensland have already announced their State Junior Road Teams, while Victoria’s announcement is imminent.

The podium of this year's JM17 Tasmanian ITT Champs…we'll likely see these kids wearing tassie kit in Toowoomba!

The podium of this year’s JM17 Tasmanian ITT Champs…we’ll likely see these kids wearing tassie kit in Toowoomba! Source: Cycling Tasmania Facebook Page.

I’m no coach, but I’ve spoken to a number of coaches and they assure me it is difficult for a junior, or any rider for that matter, to peak twice in a season; once for State’s and then again for Nationals.  Not impossible, but difficult, depending on the timing of both – especially taking into account illness and schooling and family holidays!  What I’d like to propose is this…

A Junior State Championship Weekend identified in the calander – where ALL States hold their Junior Championships on the SAME weekend.  Whether that’s in June, July or August I’m not sure – but I’m sure people with far more knowledge than me could suggest the ideal gap between States and Nationals from a “holding-form” point-of-view.

The other thing this would do is allow us to start to look at a synchronised national junior tour calendar.  That is, there were only three Junior Tours in Victoria this year; NSW had four; QLD three; SA really only one proper tour; Tassie only one; and WA maybe a couple.  So let’s say there were 13 JT’s this season.  There are over 20-weekends from mid-April, yet there were numerous weekends where tours clashed with each other or clashed with a state’s junior championships.  This can be avoided with a little bit of pre-planning and in fact scheduled to make it viable for kids to travel to suitable interstate tours.

Now a lot of States don’t like to have things mandated by Cycling Australia (and probably with good reason in the past) but I’d like to think that if CA put out a well thought through document proposing something similar to the above it would be well received.  That’s not to say events in WA and say, QLD can’t be on the same date – but I would think that particularly events in South-Eastern Australia could be arranged to avoid clashes and allow athletes the chance for more high calibre racing.

* OK, it’s not that Radical I guess.

  1. onaneedtoknowbasis says:

    I think the junior calendar in every state is affected by the senior racing calendar and other events in town on the same weekend. For example with the Canberra JT we need to work around the NSW calendar along with other events going on in the ACT or even planned road works on popular routes. There is also a limit on the availability of officials and strain on volunteers (who work lots of other events).

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