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

The Youth Road Development Series will be an ability based series. Participants will be able to choose from one of five categories depending on both their ability and comfort levels. Participants must be between the ages of 9 and 18 as of December 31st, 2017. Second year Cadets with upgrades and Juniors can do both the Youth and Ontario Cup Series. Participants should consult their club & coaching staff first before choosing a category.

Categories will consist of A Grade through to E Grade. The upper tier grades are for athletes with more experience or a higher comfort level and the lower tier grades are for those newer to the sport. For a detailed breakdown on categories please see the 2017 Youth Road Series Guidelines.

Distances

The following are the suggested distances for each grade. Distances will vary depending on each race venue. These distances through consultation were deemed appropriate for each category.

A Grade – 40-50 KM

B Grade – 30-40 KM

C Grade – 25-30 KM

D Grade – 15-20 KM

E Grade – 10-15 KM

The 2017 Youth Road Development Series Schedule

2017 Youth Road Development Series
May 22nd  Delaware Speedway Youth Grand Prix
May 27th Morning Glory Youth Cup
June 3rd 11th Annual Tour de Speed
August 5th Tourism London Grand Prix
August 12th Midweek Youth Cup
August 26th Racetiming.ca Youth Cup
September 2nd Integrity Tool & Mold Youth Cup Finale

Series Format

The Youth Road Development Series will consist of a road race as the core event and one additional event. The additional event may be a sprint challenge, team or individual time trial, skill session, hill climb, or a grasstrack race. Points will be given out based on the Road Race ONLY. The point structure for the Road Race is laid out below:

Series Points per Race (BASED ON THE ROAD RACE)

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

2017 Year End Awards

  • Most Improved Male Athlete: Awarded to the male athlete who shows the greatest improvement from the start of the season
  • Most Improved Female Athlete: Awarded to the female athlete who shows the greatest improvement from the start of the season
  • Most Sportsmanlike Male Athlete: This awarded to any athlete who has combined the ability to compete while maintaining respect for the sport, the officials, and opposing athletes.
  • Most Sportsmanlike Female Athlete: This awarded to any athlete who has combined the ability to compete while maintaining respect for the sport, the officials, and opposing athletes.

Equipment

The wearing of a CSA 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 operating brakes. Disc wheels are not permitted. Maximum wheel rim depth is 40mm.   The use of Disc brakes in road races is not currently permitted under the rules of our sport.  At this point in time we do not anticipate any changes being made to this rule in 2017 however we are actively monitoring the situation.

  • Aero helmets are not permitted
  • Disc brakes are not permitted.
  • No bar ends or aero bars permitted.
  • Disc wheels are not permitted.
  • Maximum wheel rim depth is 40 mm.

Licence Requirements

All participants in the Youth Road Development Series must be a licenced member of the OCA. Licencing is as follows.

Category Citizen Permit UCI Licence Affiliate Club Membership
A Grade  √  √ Not Permitted
B Grade  √  √ Not Permitted
C Grade  √  √ Not Permitted
D Grade  √  √ Not Permitted
E Grade  √  √ Not Permitted

Licenses must be purchased two weeks in advance of the first event in order to allow for processing time. Be sure to have your license in advance of the first race!

Gearing

Under the new Youth Road Series format for 2017, each event will be run with ability based categories. That means that every rider, regardless of their age will have to meet the Cadet gear restriction at a minimum which is 7.12 meters. We still encourage athletes to implement the gear restriction base on their age set out by Cycling Canada. The rollout distances can be found below:

NATIONAL YOUTH CATEGORY GEAR RESTRICTIONS
CATEGORY ROAD RACING
U17 7.12 M rollout
U15 6.71 M rollout
U13 6.2 M rollout

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