Louisa Reserve Criterium Track is a short, off-road criterium circuit located next to Dunc Gray Velodrome in Bass Hill, Sydney.
- Very short circuit
- Flowing, not technical
- Be the first out of the final corner
Sometimes referred to as “Dunc Gray Criterium Track”, Louisa Reserve offers one of the shortest bike racing circuits in Sydney. At only 750 metres long, racers regularly clock times of around one minute per lap. The fast, flowing corners contribute to this speed, with no technical sections to speak of. In fact, there isn’t a single sharp edge on the course – all the corners are smooth arcs.
From the start/finish line in the shadow of Dunc Gray Velodrome, riders swoop to the left around a wide curve. There’s a right-hand kink followed by the track’s only pinch point, which is at the northernmost end of the track.
This pinch point consists of back-to-back 90-degree turns, and the downhill approach can be quite fast. It tends to string out the bunch into single file. There’s no run-off, either: swing too wide, and you’ll end up in a chainlink fence.
After this point, the lap is already halfway over. It’s just a slight uphill drag back towards the finishing straight. As an attacker, you can get out of sight through this tree-lined section. Otherwise, you’d best position yourself well for the left-hand turn onto the finishing straight.
Given the short distance from that corner to the finish line (about 150 metres), you’ll want to be towards the front – if not in the lead – through the final turn. The finishing straight slopes gently uphill at just over 1% gradient.
When to race
During winter, Bankstown Sports Cycling Club runs fortnightly criteriums at Louisa Reserve Criterium Track on Saturday afternoons.
Lidcombe-Auburn Cycling Club runs one-off races at Louisa Reserve from time to time, including the Dooleys Junior Tour of Sydney and the annual Tour of August.
In 2019, Paul Craft’s “Raw Track” will hosting a special “Eliminator Criterium” at Louisa Reserve. This will be a state open race with a unique format: after a certain time, the last rider on every lap will be eliminated from the race until only one rider remains.
How to get there
Car parking is plentiful around Dunc Gray Velodrome. Enter the velodrome complex via Carysfield Road.
Toilet facilities, however, are difficult to come by. If the Velodrome is closed, you’ll have to try the toilet block next to the football fields to the south. If they’re locked, you’re out of luck – try riding or driving down to Bass Hill Plaza.
For a video of racing at the Louisa Reserve circuit, watch this race-winning footage from the 2017 Tour of August Stage 1 – Dunc Gray Criterium.