Cycle Club’s first view of new track
Dust and drought could harm readinessfor major cycling event
FOR the very first time, a large contingent of Dubbo Cycle Club members this week toured the city’s new cycling facility under construction in North Dubbo.
The velodrome and criterium tracks are laid down, while the club house and surrounds are expected to be completed before Christmas.
Dust may prove to be an issue at the facility however, until turf can be laid. A representative from Cycling Australia will make a safety assessment in coming weeks and club members will begin test rides from the end of the month.
“We’ve got Peter Tomlinson coming up from Cycling Australia. We’ll go around with a motorbike with a couple of the boys and see what it’s like at speed, make sure it’s right,” cycling coach Vaughn Eather said.
Club president Matthew Gilbert said dust is a problem because of the speed the cyclists travel.
“The main issue at the moment is the irrigation and turf. We’re considering the minimum amount until the drought breaks,” he said.
Multi-world champion cyclist and Dubbo Cycle Club member Darryl Wheeler said the surface of the tracks have to perfect.
“That finer form dust can be very dangerous and slippery. The surface has got to be perfect otherwise you can have accidents. We’ve got to maintain the grass when it eventually gets growing, otherwise we’ll have dust,” he said.
Despite concerns, club members were excitedly talking during the visit to the site about making plans for an opening event.
“I came out here about a month ago before they put any of the surfacing down and it was looking good then, but this is great,” Mr Eather said this week.
The addition of a criterium track will also allow the club to host junior road-style races in safety and reduce demand on volunteers.
“These days you’ve got to have staff of about 12 to run a road race. Here you could probably run it with two officials. It will be a lot easier,” Mr Wheeler said.
Mayor Ben Shields recently said the track would enable the club to hold major state and national events and will help the local juniors to reach their full potential. There is reigning world, national and state champions currently in the club.
However, dust could put their annual hosting of the NSW Under-9 to Under-13 Junior Track Championships in February in doubt. The event attracts junior cyclists and support teams from across the state, as well as entries from Elite and Master riders who compete in the signature Dubbo Track Open race.
The new facility’s readiness could determine if this major cycling event stays with the city.
Members of the Dubbo Cycle Club took their first tour of the new cycle facility under construction in north Dubbo on Monday. PHOTO: DUBBO PHOTO NEWS