8bar at the Red Hook Criterium Barcelona 2014
Red Hook Criterium (RHC) is the biggest Fixed Gear racing series. In 2014 the RHC takes place in New York, Barcelona and Milan.
It was the second time that the event took place in Barcelona. The main changes compared to last year were a separate women crit and a so called “last chance race”.
250 riders registered for the race, but only 85 riders could qualify themselves for the finals. That’s why David Trimble (organizer of the Red Hook Criterium) developed a Qualifying System where everyone got 20 minutes to ride on the course for his “fastest lap”.
The 85 “fastest lap” riders made it directly into the final. As there are so many riders just coming to the event to race there is also a “last chance” race for the following qualifying positions 86 – 150 line up for a 14-lap ‘Last Chance Race’. Were the top-10 finishers were advanced into the main event.
The course was very technical with two hairpins and a length of 1.25km. The men had to do 24 laps (26,5km) and the women 18 laps (20km) in the finals.
As the event is getting more and more popular there are a lot of ex-professional road cyclists trying to get some glory before they disappear completely from the cycling world. This causes some disappointment for some participants as the level is getting higher and higher every year and it is hard to get into the finals even for experienced riders. As this kind of racing is founded by messengers it would be great if it still keeps it underground charm.
Nevertheless the popularity and participation of these riders is also a great opportunity to compete with the best cyclists in the world. Where else do you have the chance to race against an Ex-Pro who competed already in the the Giro d’Italia and Paris Roubaix?
DIARY – Team rider – Stefan Schott
Qualifying started. Tim and I wanted to go together with the guys from Fixedpott to form a fast train and get good qualifying laps. The field was fast from the beginning and we lost the guys from Fixedpott. We warmed up for the first three laps and tried our luck in lap four. Tim started the sprint a few meters before the starting line that we are already on high speed when we are crossing the start. We had a really good first half lap, but then there were some slower riders in front of us at a corner so I had to slow down. Tim could overtake them before the corner and I lost his rear wheel. We were both satisfied with our qualification times and had to start on 23rd and 44th position in the finals.
5, 4, 3, 2, 1, GOOO!!!!!
My start was pretty good and I got into my pedals really quick. Unfortunately a rider in front of me didn’t, so I had to slow down a bit to get around him. I missed some positions and was around 50th after the first lap. Within the next ten laps I made it back under the TOP30. It is really hard to overtake people as the course in Barcelona is really technical and there are not many chances to overtake anyone.
Then suddenly my tires slipped at a hairpin and I went down. There was another guy from Team F.A.S.T. right behind me who couldn’t change his line F.A.S.T. enough and made a flip over my rear wheel (sorry Yvo). Luckily we both got back on our bikes and tried to close the gap to the first group. Unfortunately my sight was kind of blurry. First I thought I had sweat in my eye… but then I realized that I lost one of my contact lenses and did another 10 laps with just 50% of my eyesight.
With just 5 laps to go my group got overlapped and I had to stop just a few laps before the end. Tim was still in the first group and stayed in the TOP10 for most of the time. In the last hairpin he was on fifth position and as he is a real good sprinter everything looked fine… Unfortunately a rider on his inside didn’t stay on his line and pushed him into the barriers. After making a flip over his handlebar Tim got back on his bike and still finished on a very good 24th position.
This was not our last chance to make it on the podium. The whole 8bar team is looking forward to Red Hook Milan in October!!!
Overall it was a great event and we had a good time with our buddies from Goodtimesroll, Raw Cycling Team, Fixedpott, My Beautiful Parking and a lot more.
Constantin Gerlach constantingerlach.de/rhc-bcn-n2/