Around this time last year we put up a post about how the 2015 Junior Tour entry was the biggest ever – and that, as a result, selecting the riders to start the race was the most difficult – and unpleasant job ever. We know so many have built their seasons to culminate in this race so it isn’t just numbers on a spreadsheet we’re dealing with.
Well, the total entry this year is a tiny bit smaller. However, the quality is even higher, in a context where we are still limited to a 100 rider field. We are again over 200 entries – and even more amazingly, 110 of you are British second cat riders with excellent racing records. That’s an entire race worth of riders plus a reserve list, without even thinking of the 1st cats, 3rds, 4ths or the Internationals.
Choosing the first 80 or so starters was relatively simple, because so many of you have scored points in the earlier Junior Road Series rounds this year. However, many of you have been scoring elsewhere so those last 20 places were a job and a half to allocate. As last year, we ask ourselves: Do we go simply on the total number of points scored, irrespective of where? Or do we take into account the toughness of the event and the quality of the opposition? Or do we look at everyone’s result card in detail and try to work out who is going to be best suited to this year’s parcours? The latter option is the one we’ve always chosen and this year is no different.
We want the best riders to contest the Junior Tour. Later on tonight, 100 of you (plus families, team managers and more) will be relieved, and some, those of you on the reserve list, will be slightly nervous. However almost a full race worth of the rest of you are going to be sitting there feeling it really unfair that you don’t get the chance to show what you can do on the Junior Tour. We agree! We wish we had space for all of you. Until we do, however, we have to choose, and in so many cases the choice is between one really good rider, and another.
Those of you who are riding this year, make sure you bring your best legs, because otherwise your friend/team mate/rival is going to be giving you stick. Those of you who didn’t get in, we hope you still have plenty of time to enter something else over the Bank Holiday weekend. And those of you who are first years, make sure you try again next year.
We hope to see all of you – whether in Brynmawr in just over a month – or somewhere else – really soon. Be fast and be safe.