SouthlandSport editor Nathan Burdon

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Future stars to shine at elite track nationals

Future stars to shine at elite track nationals

Cyclone Gita might be getting ready to bring wind and rain to the rest of the country, but in Invercargill things will be heating up.

Invercargill is hosting the Vantage Window and Doors Elite and U19 Track National Championships this week with more than 100 of the country’s fastest riders descending on the SIT Zero Fees Velodrome from Wednesday.

Cycling Southland general manager Mark Hotton said the future stars of New Zealand track cycling would have a chance to step out of the shadows this week and show off their speed and skills.

“We’re not worried about any old cyclone – it’s some high-octane cycling action that will be getting things hot in the velodrome.”

Although some national elite riders were unavailable because the upcoming Commonwealth Games had forced the rescheduling of the world championships, this had opened the door for other riders to be noticed, he said.

“This is going to be a fantastic event for spectators because we’ve got some incredibly talented and extremely fast elite and U19 riders wanting to put up their hands for the national selectors.

“We love to see Southlanders racing and beating the best riders in the country and it will be the perfect opportunity to see our talent go up against other riders on our track,” Hotton said.

It was also a great opportunity for children aged under 16 to come and watch some fantastic racing for free at all sessions, he said.

“We’re also hosting national paracyclists who are vying for spots to the world championships and ultimately the Olympics in Tokyo next year. Southland blind cyclist Hannah Pascoe will be in action too.”

Session times are 10am and 6pm on Thursday to Saturday; and 10am and 2pm on Sunday.

Tickets are $5 for adults for the Thursday, Friday and Saturday morning sessions, with children free.
The evening sessions are $20 for adults, $15 for students and senior citizens, and children free.
On Sunday each session is $10.

Caption: Derny rider Waine Harding leads out elite riders during a Keirin race at the 2017 Elite & U19 Track National Championships in Invercargill. More than 100 riders will be taking part in the 2018 event, which runs from Wednesday to Sunday.

PHOTO: Dianne Manson

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