Plenty of events to keep wheels spinning in off-season

NICK JEFFREY
Last updated 05:00 07/05/2012

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OPINION: This is supposedly our cycling off-season, although you wouldn't know it. I guess the moment we were awarded the junior world track cycling champs for this year, we gave up the right to any off-season. Here's a snapshot of recent news:

Entries for the 2012 Harrex Group Corporate Pursuit close on Wednesday. This is one of my favourite events of the year.

It hasn't been the easiest 12 months in the business world, so what better way to have some fun with your workmates than by entering your team of six into the largest corporate track cycling event in the world.

You'll get fully coached sessions and two race days out of it, and it even qualifies as one of those new-age team building exercises. The details are at cyclingsouth.org.nz.

Junior world championships tickets are now on sale through Stadium Southland. We sold more than 3500 seats with our early-bird event passes and we've kept the prices rock bottom by design – to make sure as many Southlanders as possible have the chance to get a look at our very own world championships here in our backyard.

There are two sessions each day from August 22 to 25 with a single session on the 26th, the final day. Session tickets start at $10 for adults and $7.50 for children so grab yours and make sure you get one of the best seats in the house in August. They are going fast.

Speaking of the junior worlds, the Kiwi squad showed early form at the club road nationals in Hawke's Bay at the weekend.

Alexandra's Sophie Williamson won both women's time trial and road race while Canterbury's Dylan Kennett and Hamish Schreurs took out the men's events. All three will be on the start line as part of a New Zealand squad with high hopes of a strong hometown showing.

We are all very proud of Eddie Dawkins and Natasha Hansen, who have both been named in the Olympic squad for London.

Matt Archibald is also still very much in the mix as part of the wider men's sprint squad and if his rapid development during the past 12 months is anything to go by, he could still get himself an Olympic berth with continued gains during the next few months.

All three have potentially got years ahead of them on the international scene, and while Rio in 2016 may be a more realistic target in terms of medal prospects, knowing all three of them well, they won't be lining up at the London Velodrome with anything other than a 2012 medal on their minds.

Somehow I have (been) volunteered to ride from Queenstown to Invercargill in a few weeks as part of Westpac's annual Chopper Appeal. Fortunately, it's a great cause. Unfortunately, it's not that far away, timewise. But if you say 180 kilometres quickly enough, it doesn't sound that far.

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So, like I say, nice quiet time of year then?

Nick Jeffery is Cycling Southland's chief executive.

- The Southland Times

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