Ararat's Alice Culling in junior national championships

ARARAT cyclist Alice Culling will represent Victoria at the 2014 Cycling Australia Junior Track National Championships, which start in Sydney on Wednesday.

Culling was one of 24 junior prospects selected in Cycling Victoria’s under-17 and under-15 squad, and will be one of the state’s four female representatives in the under-15 age group.

Culling and her three team-mates – Georgia Cummings, Alana Field and Sarah Gigante – will compete against 17 of the country’s top junior cyclists in their age bracket over the next four days. 

Cycling Victoria’s team manager and chairman of selectors Laurie Norris said the event – at the Dunc Gray Velodrome, a venue used during the 2000 Sydney Olympics – would be a fantastic opportunity for the Ararat teenager to test her skills.

“I think the experience will do her the world of good – you can’t buy experience like this,” Mr Norris said.

“We’ve got three mechanics and four coaches, so the kids don’t have to worry about their bikes or tactics.

“I think it will all be positive for Alice.”

Mr Norris – who has been involved with the team for more than a decade – predicted Culling would thrive in Sydney.

“I think Alice is one of those who might ride some personal best times here, I think probably in two of her three events,” he said.

“You hope the kids will perform under pressure – I think she’ll do well here.”

Mr Norris said Culling – fresh from success on her home track at the Ararat Classic Cycling Carnival earlier this month – would ride in the sprint, time trial and individual pursuit events with the possibility of also riding in the points race.

Culling has already proved her ability to compete with the country’s best junior cyclists.

She won the Junior Women’s 15 Cyclone Sprint final in round two of the National Junior Track Series in November last year and competed in multiple events at the Victorian Junior Track Championships earlier this month.

After a training session on Tuesday, Culling said she was excited and looked forward to strong performances across the championships.

“We got the plane up on Monday and we’ve got a really strong team I think,” she said.

“I’m hoping to get a few PBs and do my best.”

Ararat and District Cycling Club president Matt Argall said Culling’s selection was reward for her and her family’s commitment.

“We’re proud of what Alice has achieved over the past couple of years,” he said.

“This is a real reward for her effort.

“Her parents Tania and Harold have put a lot of time and effort into getting Alice to training and events.

“Their whole family should be commended.”

The 2014 Cycling Australia Junior Track National Championships finish on Saturday.

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