Meander Valley Gazette

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The Criterium Masters

FeatureJoanne Eisemann
Competitors in the Masters Criterium power past the Village Green in Westbury on Boxing Day.

Competitors in the Masters Criterium power past the Village Green in Westbury on Boxing Day.

Kayne 7yrs enjoys the community ride with dad Greig Watson.

Kayne 7yrs enjoys the community ride with dad Greig Watson.

WESTBURY’S TRANQUIL streets bordering the Village Green came alive with cyclists of all ages and abilities on Boxing Day. The green was tinged with gold when the superstars of Australian track cycling descended for the 2018 edition of the Westbury Cycling Criterium, which kick started the 2018-19 Tasmanian Christmas Sports Carnivals.

Gold Coast Commonwealth Games gold medallists Sam Welsford, Alex Porter and eventual winner Kelland O’Brien headlined the men’s race, while in the women’s Alexandra Manly was upstaged by local Perth-raised rider Georgia Baker, who was upbeat in praise. “It’s always great to be back in Westbury.”

The day also had a Masters Criterium and a people’s community ride which ensured more than 100 cyclists showcased their talents and the feature events had the largest amount of competitors across all three Criteriums in the series. Meander Valley Council Mayor Wayne Johnston said he was thrilled that carnivals’ criterium racing had returned to Westbury after an absence last year. “It’s fabulous that cyclists of such high calibre graced our streets on one of Tasmania’s most challenging and spectacular criterium courses,” he enthused.

The Mayor also launched the 30-minute community ride which kick-started the criterium festival. Participants had the opportunity to complete as many laps of the 1.3km circuit as possible and new Councillor Susie Bower led the charge. Council and Carnival organisers were very pleased with the great atmosphere for families. Mayor Johnston described Westbury’s Boxing Day criterium festival as a success and one that is sure to grow in coming years.

Photo | Mike Moores