What is Youth Cycling?

The OCA currently has a road (and new in 2015) track series that allows youth between the ages of 9-16 to experience the speed and thrills of racing. The series focuses on participation and fun. With each passing year, more youth riders are participating and higher quality events around the province are taking place. The series’ are driven at the grassroots level with support from racers, parents, clubs and officials.

Selecting a Youth Cup (Road) Series Race Category

Below are the different categories available at all event levels (i.e. Regional and Citizen). This chart is designed to help riders new to the sport to pick a category as well as help all riders determine which kind of membership is required to participate in their categories. Riders who still have questions about categories after reading these charts should contact the OCA office.

 
Category
 
Age Information
Citizen
Permit
UCI
Licence
Ability
Level
U11 Boys/GirlsAge: 9-10
Citizen Permit
UCI Licence
Ability Level: All
All
U13 Boys/GirlsAge: 11-12
Citizen Permit
UCI Licence
Ability Level: All
All
U15 Boys/GirlsAge: 13-14
Citizen Permit
UCI Licence
Ability Level: All
All
U17 Boys/GirlsAge: 15-16
Citizen Permit
UCI Licence
Ability Level: All
All

Road Youth Cup Series

YOUTH SKILLS CHALLENGE – ROAD YOUTH CUP SERIES

In 2016, there will once again be a YOUTH SKILLS CHALLENGE at various road youth cup events that will have a focus on fun, skills, peak motor development and speed. The new skills challenge will be set and will be a good way for our youth to improve on basic fundamentals in a safe and competitive environment.

The Youth Skills Challenge will be divided into 3 age categories: Minime/Cadet (13-16), Peewee (11-12), and Squirt (9-10). Each age category will have a specially designed course full of obstacles and challenges. The aim for the rider is to complete each obstacle/challenge on the course in the fastest amount of time without knocking over the obstacles – which incurs a 2 second time penalty. These skills challenges will commence shortly after each category race has finished. Medals will be awarded to the Top 3 riders in each category!

COURSE DIAGRAMS


Click here to download a copy of the blueprints to each category course. Now you can practice at home or at your local park, and it’s easy to set up. We bought wooden blocks at our local hardware store at a cost of only $25, and we set up the obstacle course as shown. It’s easy to follow and you’ll have tons of fun practicing your skills. Once you’ve mastered it, show us what you’re made of and come along to any of our Youth Races!

CATEGORIES AND DISTANCES

Open to youth aged 9 – 16 as of Dec. 31, 2016

CATEGORY* AGE BIRTH YEAR ROAD DISTANCE** TT DISTANCE**
CADET U17 Boy/Girl 15-16 1999-2000 25-30KM 2 – 4 KM
MINIME U15 Boy/Girl 13-14 2001-2002 20-25KM 2 – 4 KM
PEEWEE U13 Boy/Girl 11-12 2003-2004 10-15KM 1 – 2 KM
SQUIRT Boy/Girl 9-10 2005-2006 5-10KM 1- 2 KM

* Age and boy/girl categories may be combined depending on field size.
** The distances are suggested and may be adapted to individual courses.

Series Format

Youth Cup – A stage race for youth featuring a time trial and road race. Placing is based on combined points from the TT and road race for a general classification (GC) result. These races will be awarded maximum series points. In the event that the points are tied the winner will be determined by who has the higher result in the road race.

Series Points per Race (BASED ON GC)

Placing 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th 11th 12th 13th 14th 15th
Youth Cup 25 20 16 13 11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

 

Series Awards

The series winner in each age group will be mailed an engraved plaque. Any ties will be decided at the series finale.

Championship

As is usual in other cycling sports the final race or a designated “championship” race determines the champion in each age group.

Club Challenge

Points earned by youth racers count towards the OCA Club Challenge. Clubs wishing to be the top road team in Ontario are strongly recommended to encourage youth racing.

Equipment

The wearing of an approved helmet is mandatory. However, aero helmets are not permitted. Cycling gloves are strongly recommended. The participants are encouraged to ride on a road-racing bicycle however other suitable bicycles may be utilized. All equipment must be in good repair, have adequate tires and fully operating brakes. Bicycles with disc brakes are not permitted in the series.

Gearing

New as of 2015, the Ontario Road Youth Cup Series will be “rolling out” gear check at all Youth Cup events. It has been considered for the past few seasons however, we have decided to implement the rule for the following reasons:

  • To ensure a fair and equal competitive basis for all involved
  • To limit the competitive advantage of athletes who mature early
  • To increase the relative importance and thereby development of racing tactics
  • To encourage development of technique and ability to produce power at high cadence
  • To reduce the risk of overuse injuries
All athletes racing in the U17, U15, U13 and U11 categories will be rolled out at Cycling Canada’s distance for U17 riders, of 7.12 meters. We encourage everyone to have their bike set up in time for the first Youth Cup of the season! The OCA is going to try to have a mechanic on site to help out those athletes who have issues with their gearing at the first event.

Gear ratios that work include (distance is approximate and actual rollout will depend on tire size):
50 x 15 = approx. 7.0m
52 x 16 = approx. 6.8m
53 x 16 = approx. 7.0m

U17 athletes racing up at the Ontario Cup Junior level will be permitted to use Junior gearing (7.93m or 52 x 14) however U19 athletes upgraded to the Ontario Cup Elite level will still be required to use Junior gears.

Track Development Youth Series

The Track Development Youth Series has been designed to optimize the development of our young athletes through a format that removes the emphasis on winning and instead focuses on skill development.  Riders will now select their category based on their own ability. The ability categories will allow athletes at different levels of physical maturity or time in the sport to participate in meaningful mixed gender competition. This will also provide better opportunities for young riders to develop skills and progress as an athlete, and be challenged by other riders of a similar ability.

New for 2017!

Riders will now select their category based on their own ability. This is to further align the Track Development Youth Series with the Long Term Athlete Development Model (LTAD) This alignment will allow first time riders to select a category that they are both comfortable with and allow them to work their way up to competing in a more advanced category. Under the new system males and females will be racing together with riders of the same caliber. Cycling Canada’s Track Cycling LTAD Model states:

  • It is deemed essential to base cycling-specific training on developmental age, not on chronological age
  • It is essential to understand that when working with young athletes, we are not simply preparing them for our sport, but for all sports- and that by offering well-rounded development that builds physical literacy, we are also preparing them for a more active, healthy lifestyle
  • Young athletes of the same chronological age can vary widely in their development, ability to learn skills, and emotional readiness for competition. Over-emphasis on skills and tactics the athlete is not ready to learn, or intensive competition, can take the FUN out of sport.
  • Young athletes deserve a program appropriate to their own stage of development.

The emphasis on ‘Winning’ in the Track Development Youth Series has been reduced:

  • Winning does not allow room for failure and learning
  • Winning is all about the outcome, not the process of developing proper skills
  • Winning rarely wields room for development; proper development inevitably leads to success

 How to get involved?

  • Participants should be between the ages of 9 & 18
  • Have a working track bicycle
  • Possess a Citizen Permit or a UCI licence
  • It is preferred that participants have some track cycling experience

Series Format

Each race will feature 3-4 different events for each category. Please refer to the event calendar and the corresponding tech guide for event descriptions as well as a list of events to be held. Events such as:

  • Standing 250M
  • Standing 500M
  • Kilo
  • Scratch Races
  • Points Races
  • Chariot Races
  • Point a Lap
  • Flying Lap
  • Longest Lap