SASI stars ready to hit the boards in Melbourne

SASI athletes will mix it with the country's best cyclists in the annual battle of the boards at the Cycling Australia Track National Championships in Melbourne between December 13 and 15.

SUMMER'S exciting 2019 cycling program kicks off between December 13 and 15 with the SASI team hoping to continue an outstanding run of recent success at the Cycling Australia Track National Championships.

Held in Melbourne the competition will use two tracks, one at Thornbury and the other at Hisense Arena, with day and night sessions programmed.

An action-packed event sees the Team Sprint and Team Pursuit National Championship set for Thursday, December 13, with qualifying events during the day and finals set for the night session on Saturday, December 15.

This will be the first time in the event's history that the events will be held outside of the Elite National Championships, traditionally held in the new year.

The Para-Cycling Track National Championships will capture plenty of attention on  Thursday and Friday (December 13 and 14) with finals on both days.

The event is a final chance for athletes to qualify for the Para-Cycling Track World Championship in Apeldoorn, the Netherlands in March, 2019.

The Omnium Track Championship will feature on Friday, December 14, for Elite and Under-19 athletes, while the Madison will complete the program on December 15.

SASI Cycling Head Coach Brett Aitken said the team was looking forward to the challenge.

"We will have a different line up with a couple of riders having moved on," Aitken said. "It will be a good test as we have done very well in recent years but we will have a few athletes who will be coming into the team with a couple of juniors also competing in seniors. It will be a test."

Among the junior athletes likley to compete in their categories include Ella Sibley, Katarina Chung-Orr (development rider) and Olivia Wheeler.

While some of the seasoned stars such as Annette Edmondson (World Cup) and Alexandra Manly (injury) will not compete in the event, SA still has champion Alex Porter lining up.

The Para-Cycling team also is working hard and aiming for a top showing, says coach Loz Shaw.

"We are looking strong and have been working really hard," he said.

"This is the last chance selection also to qualify for the world championship in Holland next year."

Among the SASI athletes lining up for the Para-Cycling nationals is Paige Greco who has relocated from Victoria.

Follow SASI online

Facebook @SASInews

Twitter @SASI_sport

Instagram @sa_sports_institute

Contact: Gordon Armstrong