Why Ipswich Junior Tour so valuable for kids
HAVING competed in multiple events since she was nine, Chelsea Snodgrass is well qualified to share the benefits of this weekend's Ipswich Junior Tour.
The loyal Ipswich Cycling Club member is co-ordinating the two days of competition, starting on Saturday at Raceview before moving to Willowbank the following day.
Snodgrass said the junior tour events for riders from under 9 to under 17 provided excellent opportunities for newcomers to more competitive cyclists.
"I've ridden every single Ipswich Junior Tour that we've held during my junior competition,'' she said.
"For the younger ones, it's just fun racing to get a basic idea of how races work.
"For the older ones (under-15 and under-17 categories), it is mainly about racing. Having fun is still an aspect but it really helps for selections for nationals and stuff like that.''
Selectors often watch events like the Ipswich Junior tour to find talent for future state teams and national championships.
The latest two-day event opens at 8am on Saturday morning with a prologue and criterium at Ipswich Cycle Park at Raceview.
The prologue is a one-lap individual time trial, a sprint-type event, added to this year's program.
The criterium events will follow in different age groups from about 10am.
Sunday's competition across the age groups features longer time trials from 8am on a looped course at Willowbank Raceway before an under-17 road race covering 47km.
Race director Snodgrass said the prologue was a new event added to this year's format where young riders will race in under-9, under-11, under-13, under-15 and under-17 divisions.
Snodgrass, 18, was excited about her debut role co-ordinating the Ipswich Junior Tour.
"It will be great fun,'' she said.
"It's an enjoyable event for everyone. It's made so that all the kids can get experience on how to race.''
She said more than 50 nominations had so far been received with riders from Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast already registering to join Ipswich club juniors.
In her first year studying a Bachelor of Justice at QUT, Snodgrass has put her competitive racing on hold to focus on uni and coaching.
She regularly conducts Monday night and Sunday morning sessions for women and junior riders.
From a family with a strong cycling ties, she enjoys sharing her skills and helping other riders through relay and other racing-type activities.
After previously being confined to training on the open roads, the Flinders View rider welcomes what has been established at the centralised Ipswich Cycle Park.
"I love it. It's great,'' the former Bremer State High School student said.
"It's a place where people can go. Kids have got a safe place to ride.''