Young Tasmanian cyclists on the periphery of the state's high performance program are set to be the biggest losers from the state losing the Oceania Road Championships, says TIS head cycling coach Matt Gilmore.
The championships, which had been held at Evandale in the North and Railton in the North-West over the past two years, will not be held in the state this year after the Oceania Cycling Confederation announced it could not find a way for it to continue here after Cycling Tasmania and the Mersey Valley Devonport Cycling Club in December walked away from hosting the event.
Gilmore, who has worked with North-West Coast cyclists such as Amy Cure and Macey Stewart, said the opportunity to compete at such a high level had been beneficial for the younger riders in the program, using the example of Devonport's Anya Louw, who was a gold medalist at the 2018 championships and now races for the ARA-Pro Racing Sunshine Coast team, as someone who had been inspired by the home event.
The decision could also mean there a smaller team from the state takes part in the 2020 championships, with a location and dates yet to be confirmed.
"It has been a terrific opportunity the past two years especially for younger riders who might not be necessarily invested to go to the mainland or New Zealand to take part in the Oceania Championships, so being at their back door we had a lot more Tasmanians participate in it than what we would of,'' he said on Tuesday.
"We will always take a contingent away no matter where it is, as broadly it is part of a selection committee for junior world championships and senior world championships, so we will always be represented, but it is the kids who are on the periphery who probably won't participate this year and more so our under 19 athletes.
"With Anya Louw, there's no question when you compete on home soil you are inspired to do better things, and it is a definite advantage and can help inspire in the preparation in the lead up."
Gilmore said he'd need to now "sit down and prioritise the athletes for selection", with some who would have been taking part more from an experience point of view a chance to miss out.
"It changes things for me as I have to look at budgets now as it was an event which didn't cost us too much and now we will be looking at flights, and that all obviously depends on where it is, so that wasn't a budget line that I certainly didn't factor in, which may impact on the amount of athletes I can take,'' he said.
Among the North-West Coast cyclists that could be impacted is Penguin's Dalton Stretton (who got another taste of the national level at last week's Road National Championships), who collected gold at the Oceania Track Championships last year, but Gilmore said it was too early to speculate on individual cases.
"(But) from a parent, institute and club perspective it is now a little bit more expensive to compete if it is on the mainland,'' Gilmore said.