Argh… I didn’t make the team!

Posted: August 19, 2014 in Opinion, Racing
Tags: , ,

It’s that time of the year where states are announcing their junior road teams for the upcoming Junior Road Nationals to be held in Toowoomba.  For some, this is a nervous time full of anxiety and dread; for others, a time of celebration.  By now, I think all states have named their teams except for maybe SA and the ACT.  For selectors in some states, it was a very simple decision with stand-out competitors across multiple age categories; in other states, there was so much depth that some very, very good bike riders have missed out on selection.

Thankfully, non-selection in the state team on the road doesn’t mean you can’t just make your own way up to Queensland and race (unlike for junior track nationals).  And in some ways, non-selection isn’t a bad thing; particularly in the road race and crit.  That is, if you were maybe a third or fourth pick on the state team, you’d be expected to ride for your team leader and have to forego your own opportunities in these races.

Firstly, a hardy congratulations to those of you who have made a state team… I’m sure it’s a just reward for a consistent season.  For those that didn’t make the team, especially those who felt they were right on the cusp, don’t get down on yourselves, use the your non-selection as motivation to train even harder and prepare yourself for your best possible performance at the Nationals and beyond.

Junior Road Nationals come at a difficult time… being held off the back of a long winter.  It’s easy to get affected by illness, especially as you up your training to peak at just the right time!  So part of your preparations should be to do everything you can to avoid getting sick: take precautionary vitamins; eat well; get plenty of sleep; drink plenty of water; WASH YOUR HANDS LOTS!!!

The combined ITT podium from 2013 Junior Road Nats held in Wagga Wagga - lots of State kit!

The combined ITT podium from 2013 Junior Road Nats held in Wagga Wagga – six states were represented!

The Course

The course looks like an interesting one this year.  There are some ‘bumps’ in the profile but it doesn’t look like a particularly selective course on paper and will likely end in a series of bunch kicks… the older/stronger/deeper the age-group, the bigger the bunch!  Looking at the Toowoomba JM17 State Champs as a guide, a group of 12 (out of 40) contested the road race finish… this was with very windy conditions and narrow roads that definitely made the course harder than it looked on paper.  The finish is a slight uphill affair on the Glenvale Crit Track so it will likely favour the stronger riders.

And with regard to the crit… the Queensland Crit Champs were equally windy and saw a group of 15 JM17 riders contest a sprint finish.  Now, with all due respect to the Queensland Junior Champs, the Nationals fields will be significantly deeper across all categories so I would imagine quite sizeable bunches fighting for the win… having said that, racing doesn’t take place on paper does it!

So, if you didn’t pick up a State track suit and (usually) uncomfortable kit this year, all is not lost.  Chin up, on that bike and start working to prove those selectors wrong.  Or, if you’re not making the trip to Toowoomba, dust off the track bike and hit the velodrome to get a head start on your competitors for track season.

Comments
  1. onaneedtoknowbasis says:

    ACT Road Team is here: http://act.cycling.org.au/Road/News/ArtMID/3558/ArticleID/11012/ACT-Junior-Road-Team-2014
    and ACT road selection policy is here: http://act.cycling.org.au/Portals/11/CACT%20Selection%20Policy_2014%20National%20Junior%20Road%20Championships.pdf

    Given the smaller numbers available for selection from ACT. The federation draws a ‘yardstick’ from two NSW Junior Tours (Goulburn & Wagga) and Canberra JT (which has enough interstate competition to make the placings competitive) and the NSW state championships. These competitions are early in the season, which gives riders an opportunity to autoqualify early (see the selection policy for more details), then scale back training to build up for Nationals in September. The NSW Junior Road Champs allows for riders who’ve not got the results early in the season to have another crack against an in-form NSW field a month out from nationals. Selections are made public after the NSW Junior Road Champs.

  2. cycdad says:

    Thanks for that insight. There are certainly some good riders coming out of the ACT and that selection process seems to make good sense.

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