School cycling festival set to pedal into Bendigo

BENDIGO'S status as a cycling mecca will be further enhanced later this year when it hosts a three-day schools festival.

Bendigo has been announced as the host of the 2014 Victorian Schools Cycling Championships State Final Festival to be held from October 10 to 12.

The festival will feature BMX, Mountain Bike and Road events for students aged six to 18 and showcase the best junior cycling talent across the state.

"Bendigo is one of the homes of Australian cycling and hosts a lot of events, such as the Bendigo International Madison," Cycling Victoria development co-ordinator Tom Dixon said on Thursday.

"Cycling is really popular in Bendigo and the clubs are all really strong, so it's a great town to run our school championships.

"With the BMX, Mountain Bike and the Road racing, there will be something for all the kids, and hosting the three events together gives the kids an opportunity to try multiple disciplines over that weekend."

The festival will begin with the BMX final on October 10.

It will continue on October 11 with the Mountain Bike event at Spring Gully Reserve, and conclude on October 12 with the Road final on the Bendigo CBD criterium course.

More than 600 students are expected to compete across the three events.

City of Greater Bendigo major events manager Terry Karamaloudis said the event was an example of the collaboration of the key cycling bodies in Bendigo, Cycling Victoria and the city.

"Congratulations to all parties for their collective input, which has paved the way for this event to come to Bendigo," Karamaloudis said.

Cycling Victoria general manager Kipp Kaufmann described the event as a major coup for Bendigo.

The overall VSCC program includes 15 events across the state throughout the year.

Students can enter the BMX and Mountain Bike events directly, and qualify for the Road State Final via the Midlands zone final on July 31. Students keen to participate in two or more events will go into the draw to win a $100 Amart sports voucher.

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