Now for something completely different

By Jared Smith, jared.smith@wanganuichronicle.co.nz


Limitation invites adaptation in sport just look at Twenty20 cricket and rugby sevens and track cycling is no different.

Wanganui Cycling Club's hybrid concept called Velocross is now a growing entity at the Cooks Gardens Velodrome as the club looks to build on its inaugural September event which attracted about 50 curious riders.

A second event is being held tomorrow, encouraging individuals and two-person teams of all age and skill levels to have a go.

The brainchild of organiser Rod Trott, Velocross takes elements of track and BMX racing using the banks of the velodrome for riders to build up speed, while tackling a short course involving cones and turns in the inner concrete area.

It is a short 200m, action-orientated course for up to four racers at a time, competing against either the clock or each other.

"The aim really is to create an event that's unique and uses the existing velodrome track as the berms," said Trott.

It was like a native Wanganui version of BMX, using the velodrome gradient in four areas to create the speed, he said.

Basic off-road and BMX bikes will be used and the club will have some available for those who are without.

Club president Stu Bruce said like most sports, they were trying to find something that took the popular elements of their traditional events but was compacted to appeal to the mainstream as well as enthusiasts.

Velocross was enjoyable for technical cyclists, off-roaders and even first-timers keen to try out something new, without putting too much demand on their time, he said.

"It's about being relevant to lots of people to enjoy a few endorphins running in your body.

"We're bringing it out about now because we think there will be a few kids keen to have a go."

BMX specialists also get to experience competing at the velodrome.

There will be age categories on the day, as well as a barbeque, for a gold coin entry.

Practice starts at 2pm tomorrow, with racing at 3pm.

- WANGANUI CHRONICLE

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