Stefan at the Red Hook Criterium Barcelona
Photos by: Constantin Gerlach
I arrived in Barcelona a few days before the race and had some time to get used to the climate, do some sightseeing, chill on the beach and ride my bike.
Armand, who was riding for the 8bar team at the Red Hook Criterium Barcelona, picked me up at the airport.
On the next day we had the chance to ride on the Velodrome D’ Horta with some more riders from the Mash SF, Stanridge, Dosnoventa and Wolfpack Hustle team.
After a few laps warming up below the red line I started having fun. It’s an amazing feeling riding near the barrier in the corner and then bombing down at the end of the corner.
This was the first time I raced in the evening… and it is really hard to do something useful on this day. I tried not to think about the race to much, but it was hard concentrating on something else.
Explanation: There were around 150 riders who registered for the race, but only 85 were allowed to race the main race. That’s why there were three qualification groups with around 50 riders each group. Each qualification group got 30 minutes time. To proceed to the main race you need to be within the first 85 fastest laps. Your lap times are stopped with a transponder and only your fastest lap counts.
Our qualification was set for 7pm and my heart rate got up when we were standing at the start. We did a few slow laps to warm up and then it was time to see how fast we could go. After all qualification groups finished I ended up on the 21st and Armand on the 43rd position.
Ten minutes before the main races should start it began to rain and everyone was worried if it would be a good idea to race in this condition. As we went to the start David Trimble (the organizer) announced that he would stop the race immediately if the rain would get harder.
3,2,1 go! We were on the track. I had a really good start and made it up to the Top10 riders within the first laps. The race was really fast and we were sprinting from one hairpin to the other. The average speed was around 45km/h, which is really fast for such a technical course.
After half way through I crashed in one of the hairpains. Luckily my bike was still okay and I could continue riding. Unfortunately it tooked me a few seconds to get back on my bike… that’s why I lost the leading group. Somehow I still made it on the 20th place and fulfilled my goal to be in the Top20 riders. Armand was not that lucky and couldn’t finish the race because of a crash.
Even if there is some kind of rivalism between the riders it looks to me that Fixed Gear racing is still a pretty fair sport. It is not only about winning it is also about making new friends and meeting people with the same interest from all over the world.
Thanks to Armand for hosting me, David Trimble for the perfect organized race and all people I met for the great time!!!
After the race is before the race… Red Hook Milan we are coming!!!