City centre breathes life into criterium racing

Riders contest the Ipswich Festival Criterium around the streets at the top of town.
Riders contest the Ipswich Festival Criterium around the streets at the top of town. Rob Williams

REGIONAL cycling enthusiast Troy Dobinson is confident of further developing a criterium event in next year's Ipswich Festival after the success of Saturday's racing around the CBD.

About 50 riders contested the event in top of town streets at the first major criterium held in many years.

"The atmosphere was awesome,'' Dobinson said.

"When I was a kid, I remember sitting on the sidelines watching the likes of Craig Taylor and all those blokes riding around the fire station, down the main street . . . that was before the speed bumps come in.

"It's been at least 20 years.''

Dobinson is president of the 24//7 Cycling Safety Fund who is actively involved in community initiatives.

The Yellow Jersey Bike Shop director resurrected the criterium working with other local cycling people and Festival organisers.

Dobinson said $2000 in prizemoney was already being offered for next year's criterium winner.

"It's going to be an event in the Ipswich Festival now,'' Dobinson said, keen to see cycling gain wider exposure.

"All the cycling parties in Ipswich come together to promote the sport.''

Saturday's criterium was staged over 40 minutes and two laps, including two intermediate sprints.

The first three placegetters were from the Ipswich Cycling Club.

They were winner Elijah Davis, ahead of Josh Beikoff and Anthony Kellen.

The Ipswich club is holding an annual state round time trial and criterium at the Willowbank circuit on Saturday before a road race around Mt Marrow on Sunday.

Topics:  cycling ipswich festival

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