National titles up for grabs at SA Youth Road Cycling National Championships

2018 U17 SA Champion, Travis Stedman, leads the front bunch up the M13 climb during a recent race in KZN. The route is the same course that will be used for the 2019 Youth Road Cycling National Championships road races. Photo credit: Photo: Tim Whitfield

The roads of Westville and Camperdown will come alive with young cyclists on June 22 and 23 2019 when the country’s top junior riders fight it out for national titles at the South African Youth Road Cycling National Championships.

The time trial races will be held on the Lion Park circuit in Camperdown on Saturday June 22 while the road racing will take place a day later on the M13 in Westville. Riders will be competing for both male and female titles across the U11, U13, U15, U17 and U19 categories. Medals and national champion’s jerseys will be awarded for all age groups.

In the time trial events the distances range from eight kilometres for the U11 riders up to 29,5km for the under 19 men. The under 19 women race the clock over a distance of 17,7km.

Sunday’s mass start road races see the under 11 boys and girls going head to head over one 16km lap of the M13 circuit. The U19 men will complete seven laps for a distance of 112km while the U19 women will do five laps in their 80km race.

KZN Cycling is excited about the opportunity to develop road cycling by hosting some of the country’s future stars in KZN.

“The Youth Road Cycling National Championships showcases the future of cycling in this country so it is exciting to be able to see the best youngsters battling for national titles on our doorstep,” said a spokesman for the event.

“In KZN we have a thriving development programme that is starting to bear fruit. Hosting a national championships in the province makes it easier for those kids to come and participate. This in turn means the young development riders well gain valuable experience of top-level racing, and at the same time test themselves against the best in the country and get an indication of what they need to do to be the best.

“We now have some exciting riders competing for top professional teams at the major international tours in Europe, and the riders who will be taking part in our junior champs in June are the next generation aiming for spots on the Tour de France and Giro dà talia.”

The out and back time trial route at the Lion Park will be held on a relatively flat stretch of road near Camperdown. The course is fairly straight with few technical challenges for the competitors so it should be a fair test of speed and fitness for the young riders.

The M13 loop that will be used for the road races is the same as was used for the successful senior championship in 2014. The initial half of the loop is undulating before riders plunge down a fast descent to the Westwood Mall where they negotiate a second 180-degree hairpin turn and start the big climb back up to the start finish area.

The climb is almost certainly going to be the definitive portion of the course and will surely be where the race-winning moves are made. If the leading bunch stays together until the final lap, the strongest climbers will have an advantage as the climbs peaks just before the downhill sprint to the finish.

Entries close on Friday, June 14. Riders can enter online via the Cycling SA website (www.cyclingsa-events.co.za) or by downloading the entry form and sending it to Road Cycling KZN with proof of payment (bank details and address are on the entry forms). To enter all riders must have a CSA membership licence or full racing licence for the under 19 riders.