THE cream of Bendigo's junior track cycling talent is primed and ready to take on Australia's best.
Seven Bendigo and District Cycling Club riders will this weekend head to Brisbane, where they will represent Victoria at the Junior Track National Championships.
For at least one rider it will be her third nationals - for others their first or second.
It is the second-straight year Bendigo club cyclists will make up more than a third of the 20-rider state team, with seven riders combining for seven gold medals, two silver and one bronze in a team-winning performance for the Victorians.
Alessia McCaig, who won four of those gold medals in 2018, said she saw no reason why this year's group should not set their sights high again when the four-day championships start on March 28.
"Seven cyclists in the one state team is a great achievement - everyone has worked really hard. It reflects what the coaches and the juniors do themselves training-wise," she said.
"It's fantastic to have the same number of riders in the team; it's a good ratio compared to other clubs.
"We work together really well and we are all great friends, who just work hard. We are underdogs I suppose compared to the Melbourne clubs."
McCaig is joined in the Victorian team by fellow under-17 riders Jackson Hadden and Jasmine Eddy, who won a silver medal in the individual pursuit last year in Melbourne, and under-15 team members Belinda Bailey, Haylee Jack, Angus Gill and Nate Hadden.
Bailey was one of the stars of the recent state track championships with three gold medals, while Gill and Jackson Hadden won silver.
McCaig, who claimed three gold medals and one silver, insisted there was plenty of potential among the group to win its share of medals, or even match last year's haul.
The championships cannot come soon enough for Jackson Hadden, who was picked in the state team two years ago, but missed after breaking his collarbone in the lead-up.
"It was pretty disappointing to miss out, so I'm excited to be going," said Hadden, who medalled in the individual pursuit and 500m time trial at the state titles.
"It would be nice to get a couple of medals."
These nationals will be the third for McCaig, second for Eddy and first for Jack, Gill and Nate Hadden.
They are also the first for Bailey, who has previously represented Victoria at the 2018 Junior Road National Championships in Western Australia.
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