WHEN Tasmania hosts the national junior track cycling championships for the first time since 2004, the event’s pedigree won’t be hard to spot.
The quality of those off the Silverdome track pays testament to the bright futures of those on it.
Sydney Olympic madison champion Brett Aitken is coaching the South Australian team, 1968 Olympian Hilton Clarke is coaching Victoria while Anna Meares’ sister, two-time Commonwealth Games champion and 2002 Australian female track cyclist of the year Kerrie, is helping coach Queensland.
Tasmania’s team is coached by Jamie Perry, father of multiple junior world champion Lauren, and managed by 1976 Latrobe Wheel winner Ron Bryan.
The list of commissaires includes Graeme Cure, Kevin Jamieson and Ian Loft, parents of elite track cyclists Amy, Mark and Peter, while Noel Pearce has officiated at all levels of cycling events including the 2010 world championships in Geelong.
Even the official timer competed at two Commonwealth and two Olympic Games, winning a silver medal in the individual sprint in Munich in 1972, before turning pro and winning back-to-back world championships in 1975-76.
John Nicholson is also a life member of the Blackburn Cycling Club in Melbourne and was inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame in 1986.
The honour role of previous winners includes many cyclists that have gone on to dominate the senior international arena including Shane Perkins, Scott Sunderland, Annette Edmondson, Leigh Howard and Scott Law, the last two having recorded clean sweeps of all four under-17 titles in 2005 and 2007 respectively.
The event has also helped launch the careers of Tasmanian world champions including Amy Cure, Macey Stewart, Perry and James Robinson.
Cycling Australia president Malcolm Speed welcomed riders and their families to the Silverdome anticipating the four days of competition will prolong the event’s rich pedigree.
‘‘The under-15 and under-17 categories are the lifeblood of our sport and we certainly look forward to some great competition this week as many battle for the title of Australian champion,’’ he said.
‘‘Events such as these are integral to ensuring our young members can achieve their goals, whether they are striving to be the next Anna Meares or Cadel Evans, or simply striving to be the best they can be.’’
Events include the sprint, individual time trial, keirin, individual pursuit, scratch race, points race, team pursuit and team sprint.
Teams from every state and territory in Australia will be competing for 28 national titles.
WHAT: Junior track cycling national championships
WHEN: Wednesday, February 24, to Saturday, February 27
WHERE: Silverdome, Launceston
ENTRY: Adults $10, children $5