Junior series on track for Launceston this year

LAUNCESTON will host another round of the national junior track series this year.

Cycling Tasmania executive officer Collin Burns announced yesterday that the state had been awarded a round of this year's series which will again form part of Launceston's festival of cycling.

``Fantastic news,'' Burns said. ``This will again be a big weekend of cycling in Northern Tassie.''

The weekend of December 5 to 7 will run along similar lines to last year's program, featuring Sally's Ride and the Stan Siejka Launceston Classic as well as the track cycling at the Silverdome.

In a further boost, the NJTS has been expanded to include under-19 women this year.

Burns praised the work of Cycling Australia's special projects manager Max Stevens, Craig Martin at Sport and Recreation Tasmania and the staff of the Tasmanian Institute of Sport and Silverdome who helped secure the deal.

A round of the track series was held in the city in conjunction with the Launceston Classic in December and proved a huge success. More than 120 riders from across the country competed at the Silverdome, many staying in the state to ride the junior crits.

At the time Burns said: ``It's supposed to rotate back to Western Australia next year, but we want it again.

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

Stevens, who is race director of the national series, admitted he was impressed with what he saw. ``We hope this becomes an annual weekend,'' he said.

``It is now for us to decide whether to rotate to Western Australia or come back here. Well we haven't heard from WA for some time but Launceston and Cycling Tasmania are very much on the front foot.''

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

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