Entries for this weekend’s 14th Goulburn Workers Junior 2 Day Cycling Tour are on a par with last year but the quality of the field is arguably the best ever.
Riders will come from all over NSW and a team from New Zealand will also compete. After their initial visit last year, the Kiwis were keen to return. Six men and five women will race in the under 17 division on Saturday and Sunday on the Cullerin Road between Gunning and Breadalbane.
Being a designated NSW selection event for the Under 15 and 17 divisions, the top riders will be vying for points to gain selection in the state road team to contest the national championships in Perth later in the year. With only four state spots in each division up for grabs, racing will be keen.
Goulburn Cycle Club President Adam Lambert said the tour is well established as a prestigious event and the biggest in NSW. Having the New Zealand Team entered and being a state selection race, adds to the prestige. The quality is exceptional with the state’s top junior riders in all age groups lining up. The tour is also a points score event for ACT riders in the National Junior Road Series.
The under 15 men’s with 30 riders and under 17 men’s with 33 have been split into two grades to cater for the large numbers. The under 17 women’s is up on previous years with 22 riders. Also pleasing is the younger divisions, the under 9s and 11s, with a total of 35 entries and the under 13s have 33.
Four riders will represent Goulburn Cycle Club. Elsie Apps and Katelyn Rawlinson in under 11s, while Caitlin Bensley lines up in the under 13s. Tamika Wallace will be tackling the tough under 17 division. After a strong track season and representing NSW at the Australian track championships, she has been on an intensive training program on the road and will be looking for a good performance on her home turf.
The under 17 men’s division is an exceptional field. Josh Brodie (Parramatta), Alex Micallef (Lidcombe Auburn), and Harry Jones (Canberra), are seasoned campaigners while Dylan Eather and his Dubbo teammate Danny Barber are up and comers, and although in their first year in this division will be out to prove themselves. Add in the New Zealanders and some serious racing is definitely in store.
The under 17 women’s is also very strong with another Dubbo rider, Haylee Fuller, only a youngster but a very mature rider. She’ll need to combine with Tahlia Dole (Illawarra), Rebel Brooker (Tolland), Kalinda Robinson (Bathurst) and Wallace to combat the Kiwis who will employ team tactics.
The two day program kicks off on Saturday morning from the Gunning end of the Cullerin Road course with Stage 1 a short prologue for all divisions followed by Stage 2, road races in the afternoon. The uphill finish provides a real test as does the 60 kilometre event for the under 17 men who will climb the Cullerin range twice.
Sunday switches to Breadalbane for Stage 3, a time trial. The fourth and final stage is another road race.
Lambert said that the Goulburn Tour has a reputation as being one of the best because of its location but more importantly the support of the Goulburn Workers Club, major sponsor since the beginning. He also acknowledged the great support of club members and others who volunteer each year, and the support of Upper Lachlan and Goulburn Mulwaree Councils, Police and RMS, plus the Breadalbane and Gunning communities. ‘We are lucky to have such a great venue at Breadalbane and Gunning. It is regarded as one of the best junior courses due to its varying terrain but more importantly its safety’.
Lambert said that with such a large field, there will be a big number of families staying in Goulburn and Gunning over the weekend. The tour has given the district a great economic boost over the years and this year is no exception.