The chaos of criterium

November 29, 2023 BY

Patrick Langsmith leading Ethan McKenny, Xavier Farmilo & Craig Andrae

The Mount Gambier Karting Club was the unusual venue for the Mount Gambier Cycling Club’s latest racing so the cyclists could experience criterium racing.

Criterium is a popular form of cycling with the short track and tight turns providing a good workout for the cyclists and excellent viewing opportunities for spectators.

Riders were given the opportunity to ride a few laps to familiarise themselves with the layout of the circuit, and to begin to understand the importance of correct cornering technique, before beginning the race.

Unfortunately for Chris Neave, his ride ended here after two tubes popped. The rest of the riders gathered around Commissaire John Cranwell as he set out the way the race was going to be run.

The 10 riders were to begin with a neutral lap, race from the first whistle for 30 minutes and then a further two laps of the circuit.

After the first whistle, riders got into their rhythm and groups began to form.

Out in front it was Patrick Langsmith, Ethan McKenny, Xavier Farmilo and Craig Andrae.

Next it was Colin Weatherill and Lachlan Becker, with Michael Dethmore and Mike Bakker working together, and finally Martin Farmilo with Spek Peake.

The constant cornering, braking and accelerating had some of the riders fatiguing, and as the minutes ticked down Xavier Farmilo lost contact with the leading riders and was starting to be caught by Colin.

As the whistle sounded to signify two laps remaining Patrick Langsmith accelerated strongly out of a corner to make a short gap to Ethan McKenny and Craig Andrae.

In his haste to try and bridge the gap, Ethan went into another corner a little too tightly and his pedal caught the tar, bucking the bike and sending him over the handlebars.

Patrick Langsmith finished the race ahead of Craig Andrae, and Xavier Farmilo just managed to remain ahead of the fast-finishing Colin Weatherill, followed by Lachlan Becker, Mike Bakker and Michael Dethmore.

Martin Farmilo and Spek Peake chose to finish their ride a few minutes early to avoid the possibility of arriving at a corner at the same time as the faster riders.