The Whyalla cycling juniors again proved their strength at the recent State Junior Track Championships held at the Adelaide Superdrome.
A team of nine riders hoped to improve on their Central Districts carnival performance. We can safely say that all did personal bests or had podium finishes.
The weekend was incredibly hot and made for a fast track.
Saturday started with time trials ranging from 250m time trials (TT) for the under 11 categoty to a 500m TT for the U17.
The U11 250m TT was first time on the boards rider Riegan Stanton and second time Ewan Landman.
Both were significantly faster than their opponents with Riegan finishing fourth and Ewan first.
Next was Dylan Stanton and Daniel Margaritis in the 500m TT.
With eight riders riding for times the boys knew they had to put a good time on the board.
Daniel came fourth after being piped by a Darwin rider in an earlier race with Dylan coming first.
Amalia Evans was the next rider for the Whyalla cheer squad in the under 15 girls and worked hard for fifth place.
Jonah Mislov and Cooper Jacobs were the representatives for Whyalla in the U15 boys 500m TT.
Jonah moved up his seventh seeding to place fifth with Cooper dropping back to place 10th with a new personal best.
The U17 representatives were Harry Chen and Leigh Hoffman.
Second time racing on the boards for Harry he had a good start but didn’t manage to better his time set at Central Districts coming 11th overall.
Leigh had a fantastic start in the 500 TT taking off out of the start gates spinning the back wheel in the air and skidding down the track.
The race was restarted with Hoffman starting a lot smoother securing a gold medal podium finish and a new personal best.
Individual pursuit was next in the program at 1000m and participation only for the U11 category.
Both Riegan and Ewan rode well coming fifth and first respectively.
The U13 boys had a 1500m individual pursuit setting times first with the top two going to the gold final and three and four going to the bronze final.
Dylan came second in the heat with Daniel coming third, the same occurring in the final but with Daniel dropping another three seconds off his qualifying time.
Rider Amalia Evans had her work cut out for her in her least favourite event in a strong field coming eighth in the 2000m IP.
The U15 men had a 2000m individual pursuit and riders cooper and Jonah gave all they had.
Cooper worked had to gain 11th spot, with Jonah securing a spot in the bronze medal event.
Mislov couldn’t quite replicate his qualifying timing missing out on medal position coming fourth.
Saturday afternoon was sprint time.
Each rider in their age groups sets a Flying 200 sprint time and then gets put against other riders in a match sprint riding off towards gold.
The U11s started with Riegan Stanton having her first try at the Adelaide track managing fifth and a person best.
With being used to the Whyalla track and different take off points Ewan struggled with his start of the 200, dropping to get a time on the board still managing to get a first place in the event.
Under 13 rider Daniel was slightly off form coming fourth but Dylan Stanton managed to pick up some speed zipping around the track with first place.
U15 rider Amalia squeezed out a fourth against tough competition in a quick time.
U15 men Cooper and Jonah came eighth and fifth respectively with a PB to Cooper.
U17 men rider Harry Chen managed a fantastic PB in the sprint but it was not enough in the field.
With the times being set by the guys in the U17 group you had to be on fire which rider Leigh Hoffman certainly was.
After the recent sprint wars he received some additional instruction from lead coach Jason Niblett and was understood to have taken every word in, performing as instructed to the letter.
Leigh set a blistering time of 11.245 smashing Jeone Park’s State record out of the park.
Setting the times is the first thing, riders then need to follow with sprinting against opposing riders.
Riegan had a sprint against a gun rider from Brunswick cycling club and missed out on going further.
Daniel Margaritis won his round going through to the semi final, along with Amalia Evans and Leigh Hoffman.
Sunday saw the next rounds of the sprint with U17 men first up.
Leigh Hoffman was a marked man and didn’t get a good technical match sprint in any of his two up rounds with all riders taking their chances by taking off from go in hope that he could not keep up.
Hoffman had his work cut out but kept at it to win gold at the end in a close finish.
Amalia Evans also worked through the round and got to the bronze medal ride but the Victorian import was just too strong leaving Amalia with fourth place.
Margaritis also worked hard in the sprint but the feisty Darwin rider was just too strong on the day leaving Daniel also in fourth spot.
Dylan Stanton had a hard day getting his back wheel clipped and falling down the track in one of his sprint rounds.
After being checked out by medics he was given the all clear riding home with the silver medal.
Ewan Landman was too strong in the U1’s making short work of the opposition easily gaining gold.
Points races were the finish of a long week and Whyalla had Cooper and Jonah in the U15 men’s.
Mislov kept at it with Davies and Walker lapping and splitting the field making it confusing for riders.
Mislov’s pushed through and placed third, gaining a bronze.
Amalia stuggled with pace in the U15 women’s points race hanging on but finishing out of medal contention.
The U13’s points race was an eventful one.
Margaritis & Stanton had their race plan set but were thwarted by a crash.
Margaritis bounced up quickly but Stanton was told to stay down.
The remaining riders rolled around the track slowly whilst the three riders were checked by medics. Both riders got back on the bike with Stanton finishing equal third on points but finishing fourth pushing Margaritis back to fifth.