Last year the UK School Games, held in Cardiff, added track cycling to the programme at the nearby Newport Velodrome. This year’s games were awarded to Newcastle and, with no local velodrome, the cycling became a 5 stage road race. But the track programme was so successful last year that British Cycling have replicated the event – a week after the UK School Games itself – as the Inter Regional Track Championships.
Thirteen teams totalling 91 riders will compete over three days in nine track disciplines with most riders taking part in five or 6 of the events. The team represent the 13 British Cycling regions – Wales, Scotland, Ulster, South, South West, West Midlands, North West, North East, Yorkshire, East Midlands, Eastern, Central and South East.
Teams of four Under 16 boys and three Under 16 girls – with a couple of exceptional Under 14s for good measure – compete in team colours for the overall team trophy in Sprint, Individual Pursuit, 500m Time Trail, Keirin, Points, Scratch, Madison, Team Pursuit and Team Sprint competitions.
The event kicks off today (Friday) with an opening ceremony and ends with a closing ceremony on Sunday, with the athletes living together in an ‘athletes village’ (OK, a budget hotel) to give them a flavour of what major international competitions are like.
Friday’s events are Boys and Girls Sprint, Boys and Girls Scratch, Boys and Girls Points races with Sprint qualifying and the Scratch races in the morning and the Sprint Semis and Finals and Points races in the afternoon.
trackcycling is in Newport for the event and will be posting updates to our tweeter feeds as well as posting results, reports and pictures over the next few days. Why not tweet support for your region to @trackcycling?