FOR the second year in succession Kalinda Robinson has been crowned an age wheel race champion at the Sydney Cup On Wheels, but she was not the only Bathurst Cycling Club junior to impress.
Racing on the boards of Dunc Gray Veldrome, sisters Kalinda and Ebony Robinson, Cadel Lovett and Tyler Puzicha tackled a busy program of racing, with the main events being the wheel races.
These events are handicapped to try and give all riders a chance at finding success, but to finish near the front of the field still required a good effort no matter the mark.
Kalinda Robinson, who also picked up podiums in the junior women 17 tempo, elimination and mystery-lapper races, had to work her way through the field in the 1,250 metres wheel race.
“She won the wheel race off the 50 metre mark over five laps. She’s actually made it back-to-back wins, she won the event last year as well when she was in the under 15s,” Bathurst Cycling Club junior coordinator Michael Robinson said.
“She managed to be patient and work her way through the field. She came to the front on the final bend into the finish straight.”
Lovett placed fourth in the junior boys 13 wheel race and picked up a pair of fourth placings in scratch races as he made an impressive debut at the Sydney venue.
“That was his first race at the Dunc Gray Velodrome, the banking on the bends is 42 degrees, so it’s a very intimidating place to race when you haven’t been there before,” Robinson said.
“It was only his second time on the boards too, with his first time being a training session last year. As a developing rider, he’s put others on notice that he’s there and is a rider to watch through this season as he develops more confidence in his race craft.
“To finish fourth in the main race – he’s a good up and coming young rider. He was off the back of the bunch across the line, but he was off the 40 metre mark … so he rode very strongly.”
In the junior women 15 division Puzicha placed third in her wheel race, but picked up wins in the warm up derby, tempo race, elimination race and mystery lapper as she dominated the program.
“She finished on top of the points in her age division,” Robinson said. “In the wheel race she rode off scratch and it was a big ask to make up the gap, which she did and fell just short at the end of the race.”
Ebony Robinson also had plenty of work to do in her 750m wheel race to challenge for a podium, ending up in fourth after a good ride.
“She was actually a winner last year when she was an under 11, so she was off the 15 metre mark with only one rider behind her,” Robinson said.
“She worked her way through the field, and it was actually a pretty tough field. The race probably had four or five state champions across different disciplines, so there were some very fast kids, it’s a very competitive age group that one.
“These kids are racing against, over this weekend, the best kids from around New South Wales and the ACT. Whilst a lot of them have raced together before, when you get onto Dunc Gray it’s a whole different challenge for them.”