Colorado Junior Cycling heats up this weekend in Colorado as the ACA is set to host the Colorado Mini Classic in Silt Colorado. This 2 day event will have a TT, road race and criterium with some of the event rolling on roads that have never been raced before.
Do you have a junior who thinks they want to get involved in cycling but where do you start? Last year we covered a story on Opportunities for junior cyclist in Colorado.
*** Updated 7-16-2010 ***
Article from VeloNews
Colorado juniors set for stage race
By Brian Holcombe • Updated: Jul 16th 2010 9:37 AM EDT
Jon Tarkington grew up racing the Red Zinger Mini Classics, a series of youth road races in Colorado in the 1980’s. Twenty-something years later, the American Cycling Association executive director is teaming up with race promoter Bill Sommers to resurrect junior stage racing in the state – and hopefully the country.
“Right now, junior nationals is a roll of the dice,” said Tarkington. “You take a junior that’s had a reasonably good year, the family spends all sorts of money going to nationals and they have a bad day or two and that’s it. They’re frustrated, they think bike racing stinks and they’re out of there.”
Tarkington hopes that the Colorado Mini Classic, which will take place July 17-18 in Silt, on Colorado’s Western Slope, will help to dilute that pressure and provide an opportunity for junior racers, from those just entering the sport to the elite, an opportunity to feature in a high profile event. The points-based stage race will offer racing for age groups 8-9 through 17-18. On Saturday, a four-corner criterium will kick off the two-day event, followed in the afternoon by a time trial. The road race (for age groups 10-12 and above) will close the event in downtown Silt.
Another aim of the event is to develop junior cyclists that continue in the sport into their college years and beyond. “Over the past five-to-ten years, the ACA has done a really good job of bringing lots of new kids into the sport,” said Tarkington. “The problem is getting them to continue – keep those programs going – but find a way to address the missing link.
“I’m hoping that if junior-only races can give kids a focal point that’s not nationals, that’s not super elite level competition that requires travel across the country, you’ll start to see over time, kids stay with it all the way into college.”