Big Fields Set for Shepparton Showdown

Posted: June 10, 2015 in News, Opinion, Racing, Road

This weekend’s Shepparton Junior Tour is set to be a showdown of heavy hitters across the under-15 and under-17 categories.  Big numbers have entered across all categories with the course set to host the Junior Road Nationals later this year.

11 under-11’s will pin on numbers along with 18 under-13 boys and 10 under-13 girls.  In the under-15 boys category riders from Queensland, NSW, SA and the ACT join the locals in the field of 45 riders.  Missing is Canberra Tour winner Luke Ensor (NSW) along with runner-up James Moriarty (QLD) but a strong local contingent headed by a trio of Brunswick Cycling Club members in Graeme Frislie, Leon Pudebat and Andrew Rigoni.  Throw in Carnegie’s Josh Heather, Blackburn’s Harry Morgan and Bendigo’s Sam Buckell along with SA’s Lewis Walker and it’ll make for strong aggressive racing.

While there is only 16 starters in the under-15 women, its a star studded field with the likes of Amelia Miles (ACT), Olivia Wheeler (SA), Katrina Chung-Orr (NSW), Kate Vickers (NSW) and Ashlee Jones (NSW).  Include local hopes the Bradbury sisters and with the predominantly flat road course, it’s sure to be a hard tour.

The heavy hitters have come out to play in the under-17 men’s category with a whopping 72 entries – and looking through the list there are probably 50 who will want to race in A-grade (a headache for the handicapper I’m sure!).  Local boys Slattery, Hart and Buckell will have their work cut out keeping a quintet of SASI boys quiet.  The SASI boys are well coached by Brett Aitkin and Jason Niblett and ride as a ‘team’, so expect multiple attacks until one gets away.  O’Shea, who won Ararat JT will fancy his chances in the RR and the Crit, while TT specialist Liam Nolan will start a warm favourite in that event. Drizners, Sayers and the two swift finishers in Barr and Brister complete the invasion from the West.

Braden O'Shea at the recent Ararat JT will be hard to beat at Shepparton (photo credit SA Junior Cycling Pics)

Braden O’Shea (SASI) at the head of the peloton at the recent Ararat JT will be hard to beat this weekend at Shepparton    (photo credit Facebook – Junior SA Cycling Pics)

The Vics and SA’s won’t have it all their own way however with strong first-year rider Mitch Wright (NSW) heading south off a commanding win in the recent Goulburn JT along with Tom Lynch and Matthew Rice to name just a couple more.  Notable absentees include: Seb Berwick (QLD), Craig Wiggins (WA), Zack Gilmore (TAS) and Kai Champman (NSW).

The flattish parcours, big fields and likely strong winds will ensure some cracking racing over the 53km with the non-sprinters using what hills there are to make it hard.  Decided on points rather than time, the tour will advantage the all rounder; someone with a fast finish for the RR and Crit, a power climb and the ability to still finish top-5 in the ITT.

The under-17 girls field is equally impressive, with the likes of NSW trio Chloe Heffernan, Natasha Mullany and Jess Saunders.  Morgan Gillon is making the trip over from Tassie and joins a local field including strong first-year rider Sarah Gigante and Georgia O’Rourke.

Start lists should be out today.  There are still some volunteers needed for lead, spares and follow cars – especially in the younger categories (lead and follow only).  Leave a message below and I’ll pass on your details to the organisers.

Comments
  1. Peter B says:

    Concurrent A&B grades in the crits could get messy with these field sizes.
    Surprised they pair offset gender or ages to ensure a speed differential

  2. Peter B says:

    ^ Surprised they DIDN’T pair

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