More than 100 of the best young cyclists from Victoria and South Australia travelled to Ararat to compete in round two of the 2021 Victorian Junior Road Series.
The event was hosted by Ararat and District Cycling Club, running on Saturday, May 8 and Sunday, May 9.
Club committee member and event director Bruce Howlett said the Ararat Junior Tour was unique because of its location and its longevity.
"This is probably the longest-running junior tour in Victoria now. I'd say it's approaching 30 years old," he said.
"It's also the only one in the Western side of the state these days."
The tour had been cancelled in 2020 due to COVID-19.
Howlett said while this year's event had seen a slight decline in participation from recent tours, it was still a strong return.
"I was very happy with the numbers considering what we've just been through. COVID has impacted the whole sport," he said.
"We had 117 this year. We've averaged perhaps around 130 in recent years, but I wasn't surprised it was down on this; I was just hoping for 100.
The tour also saw the debut of a new route, with cyclists beginning at Ararat Motorcycle Club and east along Warrak Road. This had been chosen to replace the previous route along Ararat-Halls Gap Road due to experiencing less traffic.
Howlett said the new course had proved popular.
"I've gotten some very positive feedback about the new route," he said.
"Everyone I spoke to about it said the traffic was much easier to manage because there was less of it."
The only blemish on an otherwise well-enjoyed event was an accident in the penultimate race, where one of the cyclists fell off during the final sprint to the finish. They were taken to Ballarat hospital after suffering a concussion and a broken collarbone.
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