Shepparton Junior Tour… a Nationals preview!?!

Posted: June 3, 2015 in Racing, Road
Tags: , ,

Under two-weeks to the Shepp Junior Tour.  This year, Shepparton, or more accurately Dookie, plays host to the CA Junior Road Championships in September.  The organisers of the Shepp Junior Tour have done a great job to give competitors a taste of the Nationals on the first day of the tour.

Both the time trial and road race courses will basically be the Nationals courses.  So if you’re thinking of racing Nationals – or hoping to do well there – best get on down/across/up to race Shepp.  There are already good numbers and entries close this weekend.  There’s a big SA contingent coming across as well as riders from NSW, ACT and Tassie already registered.  This will be the strongest JT of the year!

A little bit about the course.  A few years back an inspired Shepparton council sealed a section of road to make a terrific 15km loop just out of Dookie township.  It’s since been used for an Oceanias, a past Junior Nationals (2011), as well as being home to the Australian Schools Cycling Cup for a few editions.

It’s not a particularly hilly course but has historically made for good racing.  The TT course is slightly up hill on the way out and slightly down coming home.  The prevailing winter wind is from the south making it a cross wind there and back.  From past results, it’s a strong mans course – not necessarily suited to the pure time trialist.  Cameron Scott won the JM15 ITT in 2011 with Sam Welsford and Jack Edwards 2nd and 3rd in the JM17 ITT (Luke Williams won).  Similar style riders were successful in the female ITT.

In the road races, while sprinters did win in the two female categories (Courtney Field in the JW15 and Macey Stewart in the JW17) out of reasonable sized bunches; in the boys events the result suggests it was a smash-fest with the winner either solo or coming from a very small group.  Having said that, there were some 35 riders within 30-seconds of the winner in the JM17s and ten riders within 40-seconds in the JM15s RR.

Not sure what this tells us, but after last year’s JT stage three road race around the same course – albeit using Dookie College as the start/finish, not the township (as will be the case at Nationals), less than half the JM17 field made the split that the wind caused just 7kms into the stage and it was reported by many riders as one of the hardest stages they’ve ever ridden!

Back to this year’s Shepp JT: another terrific initiative of the organisers is that they’ve reinstated four stages!  Yes, a Victorian junior tour with four stages!!!  I didn’t think I’d see that again.  And wait for it… the third stage is a criterium around the Dookie college grounds – a fast and safe circuit – and the fourth stage is a hill climb up Mt Major – a 2.8km climb @ around 5.5%.  Looks like this is going to be held as a mass start event and the road isn’t that wide so will be interesting to see how it goes.  It’ll be an all out eight-to-13-minute effort depending on the grade.

Just cresting the major climb up Mt Major before the quick run home to the finish.

Just cresting the major climb up Mt Major before the quick run home to the finish.

I hear they’re also looking to organise a dinner on the Saturday night – following in the footsteps of what the Centrals Junior Tour has done for the past couple of years – so keep your eyes out for that too.

Entries via the CV event page

2011 Results here

 

Comments
  1. Onaneedtoknowbasis says:

    Looking at the SJT links on the CV website – the proposed 2015 Nationals ITT goes out from Dookie College (North-South) rather than out from Dookie Township (East – West) as it ran in 2011.

    Same goes for the Road Race too – from Dookie college as opposed to Dookie Township. So the “guts” of the course remain the same, however travelling south on the return could be impacted by the wind. Also the entry-exit point for the loop is different from the 2011 course, which will impact the phasing of any “hills” and whether or not to use them as a spot to break up the race or be a point to make the race winning move.

  2. cycdad says:

    My understanding is that those course details are wrong – it should be this link http://www.cyclingprofiles.com.au/HTM/Nationals/CA_2011AJRCTT.htm but with a change to the finish which won’t be around the block, rather just straight through town. But I could be wrong…

  3. Peter B says:

    Here is a link to Mt Major climb – http://www.mapmyride.com/au/shepparton-victoria/mt-major-route-30470748

    You’ll see on the CV page that the start location does say Dookie Township, they have not updated the course links yet. Sounds like CV staff cannot do it themsleves and have to ‘request’ someone to do it.

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