THE coach of Bendigo and District Cycling Club’s junior development squad is predicting plenty of medal success from the club’s riders at this month’s Junior Track National Championships.
Seven Bendigo riders have been selected in the Victorian team for the March 28 to 31 championships in Brisbane, representing more than one third of the 20-rider team.
They are under-17 riders Jasmine Eddy, Alessia McCaig and Jackson Hadden, and under-15 competitors Belinda Bailey, Haylee Jack Angus Gill and Nate Hadden.
It is the second-straight year Bendigo and District Cycling Club has had seven members in the junior track team, with last year’s group returning with a combined haul of seven gold medals, two silver and one bronze.
Four of those gold medals were won by McCaig, who together with Eddy (one silver), are the only Bendigo riders to be in the state team two-years running.
Noel Sens, who heads the junior development squad with assistance from former Olympian Rob Burns, said he was confident, said he was confident of a strong medal haul from the Bendigo riders.
“They could all win medals – hopefully they all will,” said Sens, who did not want to individualise.
“They’ve earned it. They’ve been training for this since about October 10 – well they have for years – and we’re now up to about March 10,
“That’s five months they’ve been training, as well as going to Melbourne at least once a week and racing once or twice over the summer.
“They put in (the effort) and that’s why they are good.”
Sens praised the input of all the club’s coaches in the development of Bendigo’s rich pool of cycling talent, including Burns, Steve Flood, David Mannix and Ken Smith.
“I don’t know the exact number, but in 2018 we won a lot of national championships – six or more gold medals on the track and on the road,” he said.
“They’ve all come through our program – and a lot of them go on to be coached by other people when they are older.
“The Bendigo club has been building and building ; to have seven out of 20 (riders in the team) two years running is fantastic.”
A successful Victorian Junior Track Championships for the Bendigo contingent last weekend yielded a trio of gold medal-winning performances each from Bailey and McCaig, silver medals to Gill, McCaig and Jackson Hadden, and bronze medals to Jack (two), and the Hadden brothers.
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