TIME will tell if controversial proposals by the Union Cyclisme Internationale - the world's governing body for the sport - to switch the annual track championships to the winter half of the year (at least so far as the countries of the northern hemisphere are concerned) look set to be resisted by several nations.

Great Britain, whose riders clinched three titles - the best haul ever - at this year's championships held in Denmark last month, could be among those protesting.

But with indoor tracks now becoming essential to ensure the financial viability of all major meetings for this form of racing, many cyclists are finding it helpful to come in from the cold to keep riding at this time of year.

The National Cycling Centre in Manchester, which hosted the track racing at the Commonwealth Games as well as the 2002 World Masters Championships, is now reckoned to be the fastest track in the world. It has undoubtedly helped raise the profile of British cycling at international level.

Here in Hampshire the Calshot Activities Centre provides a similar facility, more popular than the outdoor track which once played a major role in the activities of the Sports Centre in Southampton until it was ripped up to make way for an enlarged athletics track.

That left a slightly larger track in Portsmouth as the only outdoor track in the county.

As well as being available for private hire - and groups from near and far book it for training sessions throughout the winter months - the Calshot Track plays host to a weekly programme of racing on Sunday afternoons.

And among those who benefited from it last winter was Anne Stevens (Bournemouth Jubilee Wheelers) a relative newcomer to cycling who won a women's world sprint title at the Masters Championships in September.

Richard Collier, of Hamble-based H O Marine Support CRT, is currently leading the second of two senior leagues taking place.

Tim Stubbs (VC Venta Wessex Windows) picked up his first points last Sunday while Fareham Wheelers juniors David Sinclair and Stefan Heinrich, plus Izaac van Collier (Off the Record Velocity), are making an impression in the youth races.

The third round of the National Trophy series is expected to take precedence over the sixth meeting of the Wessex Cyclo-Cross League which Oxonian CC organises at Oxford School in Cowley this Sunday.

League leader Stuart Bowers (Hargroves Cycles RT) heads the local challenge in the national Trophy race aiming for at least a top ten finish to make up for his disappointment at finishing 16th in the last round two weeks ago.


November 2

Alton CTC meet Community Centre, 1.30pm for ride to Dummer.

Romsey CTC meet Palmerston Square, 10am for ride to Eling Tide Mill & Waterside.

November 3

Alton CTC meet The Butts, 9am. Lunch at Upton Grey, nr Odiham.

Fareham Wheelers meet Titchfield Mill, 9am for choice of morning rides.

Sotonia CC meet North Baddesley cross-roads, 9.30am for ride to Alresford.

Southampton CTC meet Moorgreen Hospital, West End, 9am. Elevenses at Alresford & lunch at Ellisfield, nr Basingstoke.

Winchester CTC meet King Alfred's Statue, 9am for morning ride to Middle Wallop, nr Stockbridge.

November 7

Mid-Hampshire CF meet for lunch, Exton, nr Corhampton, 12.15pm.