Bid to host juniors again

TASMANIA is attempting to secure another round in next year's national junior track cycling series after this year's event made a flying start at the Silverdome last night.

The Launceston venue is hosting the third of four rounds in the 2013 series featuring the best young track cyclists in the country and organisers are reluctant to let it go.

``It's supposed to rotate back to Western Australia next year, but we want it again,'' said Cycling Tasmania executive officer Collin Burns.

``It gives all our kids national exposure and they get to race against the best in the country.

``Lauren Perry came through this series and became a world champion, so it really is the best of the best involved.''

The Silverdome is one of just seven velodromes in Australia, with two each in Sydney and Melbourne, one in Perth and one in Adelaide.

``Having this facility means we can host a round of this national series so we're going to bid to get it again,'' Burns said.

Run by Cycling Australia, but hosted by Cycling Tasmania, the two-day event forms part of Launceston's festival of cycling and features 126 interstate riders competing in under-15 and under-17 events.

Tasmanian Institute of Sport head cycling coach Matthew Gilmore said hosting the round, which concludes at the Silverdome tonight, is invaluable for emerging riders.

``This is a great thing for our state and the riders we've got coming through and has a real importance for our emerging talent squad program,'' he said.

``We had a view that we needed to stimulate under-16 and under-17s riders to be on the track a bit more. They were just seeing each other at national titles each year, but now they meet up four or five times a year. That makes for a much better quality nationals.''

Launceston's festival of cycling weekend will also feature a time trial and kermesse around the 2.4-kilometre Symmons Plains circuit this morning from 9am before tomorrow's main event, the Stan Siejka Classic featuring junior, masters and elite women's races before the elite men's event at 7pm in Launceston CBD.

Forty of the interstate track competitors plan to stay on to contest the junior races at the classic along with about 10 Tasmanian riders.

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