Keirin, not to be confused with “Kirin” – a mythological Chinese creature, means “racing wheels.” It is a form of motor-paced cycle racing in which track cyclists sprint for victory following a speed-controlled start behind a motorized or non-motorized pacer. This form of cycle racing was developed in Japan in 1948 for gambling purposes and has since become an official Olympic event.
These races are about 2 kilometers long and racers must complete a set number of laps behind the pacer, which is usually a motorcycle.
Shane Perkins (shown left) is an Australian professional track cyclist. Originally a BMX cyclist, Perkins became the sprint and keirin junior World Champion in 2004 in L.A. Perkins was selected to represent Australia at the 2006 Commonwealth Games where he won a bronze medal as a part of Australia’s team sprint squad. Shane’s list of achievements has since then grown and are highlighted in the documentary Ryokou, found below.
Be sure to keep an eye out for Perkins in upcoming keirin events!