As Tasmania’s top track cyclists wait to learn if they have achieved Olympic selection, the state’s next generation of riders is dealing with the disappointment of another coronavirus cancellation. Rio Olympic teammates Amy Cure and Georgia Baker will find out on Wednesday whether they have also made the team for the Tokyo Games. Coronavirus: All the latest updates on COVID-19 for Northern Tasmania But even as the Australian Olympic Committee announces the track cycling team at the Adelaide Superdrome, the sport is among many reeling from COVID-19 complications. Postponements and cancellations have become daily occurrences with Tasmania’s junior track cycling team among those left disappointed. The nine-strong team due to hit Brisbane’s Anna Meares Velodrome this week included six who would have been making their national championship debut. IN OTHER NEWS: Janelle Smith, who has been coaching junior state teams for the last five years, said the riders were gutted but understanding when the titles were cancelled. “They have done all the hard work and made significant improvements so are disappointed, but all sort of expected it given recent developments,” Smith said. “It’s good to see a decision where the health and safety of everyone has been taken seriously – not just the riders but the families and support staff. “What it means is that this year we won’t have any national champions and no national records broken so nothing to record where our riders were sitting. “We had one rider finishing off their junior commitments but the others have a few more years left to go. This adds fuel to the fire for next year because they’ve had a taste for it and this won’t be the end for them.” MORE CYCLING: The team consists of Sam McKee, Lachlan Oliver and Flynn Reitsema, of Launceston; Hayden Van Der Ploeg, Nicholas Broxam, William and Alex Eaves, of Burnie; and Eugenie O’Rourke and Meika Derrico, of Devonport. The cancellation represented a reprieve for Hobart’s Dylan Rogers who was also selected but then broke his collarbone in a mountain biking accident and would have been unable to compete this week. Only Van Der Ploeg, McKee and O’Rourke had attended nationals before. O’Rourke has been a member of the state team for the last three years and this would have been her last year competing in the juniors. “The future is looking bright for Tasmanian cycling with some great talent coming through the younger age groups,” Smith added. “Tasmania’s Christmas Carnivals held their biggest fields of junior riders this year due to the amazing work being done by clubs to increase numbers. “Many of the team members have competed in rounds of the National Junior Track Series held in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne over the last few months working on their bunch skills and tactical development while racing against some of the best junior riders in Australia.” Five riders made up the Tasmanian team for the senior track championships which had been due to follow the junior titles at the same venue. Launceston duo Lauren Perry and Josh Duffy would have contested the senior events while Amy Wright, of Launceston, and North-West Coasters Dalton Stretton and Lachlan Spurr were in the under-19s. The championships, which were scheduled for March 25 to 29, were postponed on Saturday. Cycling Australia chairman Duncan Murray acknowledged riders would be disappointed. “However, we are currently in unprecedented times and the welfare of everyone including riders, coaches, officials and their families and other supporters is paramount in coming to this decision,” he said. The Oceania Road Championships, originally to be held in Northern Tasmania but subsequently switched to Brisbane, have also been postponed. The Oceania Cycling Confederation made the announcement on Monday, three days after also canning the continental BMX Championships due to start in Launceston on March 25. Meanwhile, School Sport Australia has announced the cancellation of its triathlon, aquathlon, baseball and softball championships that were scheduled to be held between March and May. We have removed our paywall from our stories about the coronavirus. This is a rapidly changing situation and we want to make sure our readers are as informed as possible. If you would like to support our journalists you can subscribe here.
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