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Criterium

12 Aug

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Red Hook Crit London 2 by Reece Wood

August 12, 2016 | By | No Comments

Alex qualifying in Group 2

George and Reece qualifying in Group 1

As Alex, George and I line up alongside one another on the starting grid, there’s an air of apprehension amongst the riders; we’ve just witness an amazing ride from Dani King who obliterate the entire field in the women’s race, was the same thing about to go down here in the men’s event?

Alex, warms up for the final.

Alex, warms up for the final.

Reece warms up for the final

Reece warms up for the final

At 950m, the London #2 circuit is the shortest that we’ve ever had and with that, the most likely of seeing a big chunk -if not all- of the field getting lapped out, it’s crucial that we move up the field quickly in the opening laps and avoid falling back from the lead group.

Ten, nine, eight… as the sounds of cheers and cattle bells almost drowns out the announcer, I’m trying to recall the approach into turn 1 and where the potholes in the road are … seven, six, five… I’m praying for an easy clip-in, getting away well will gift you 10 places off the line, or the opposite should you spin the pedal over! FourthreetwooneGO, as I get away nicely off the line I can hear a hollow clattering together of carbon wheels from behind me and I brace for the inevitable impact of someone not being able to slow it down and careering into the back of me.

The peloton on the Melo Straight

Thankfully the impact didn’t arrive and we accelerate to full gas in order to keep up with the lead pack as Alec Briggs smashes the front and takes the breakfast prime!

As the first few laps of the race unfold the pace is becoming more manageable as riders start to carry more speed through each of the corners; not having to use your decel muscles so much allows more recovery through turns and less aggressive acceleration on the straights… we (Alex, George and I) find ourselves riding together within the main pack having made our way from the 40s up to the 20s.

Having my teammates racing alongside me in the pack as we move forward through the field -and hearing the rest of the 5th on the start/finish straight- is incredible and we continue to pick off places here and there as some other riders are beginning to fade.

I can’t see the dinner prime battle unfolding in front of me but I can certainly feel it in my legs, lungs back, well everywhere, and as we pass the mid-point there’s an unbelievable pace being set on the front from riders attacking one another one after the other. As I start to settle in my position in the pack, I can see that Alex continuing to gain a place every other lap and he starts to move up through the field.

As we make our way into the final laps, surges form the lead riders are becoming less manageable and small gaps are beginning to appear in the pack. I give it absolutely everything I have to bridge a few gaps that are appearing in front of me, all the time trusting that the kick in pace will subside and if it doesn’t, I’ll be toast!

As we move into the closing laps I see a crash on the entrance to turn 2, at this stage in the race my legs are so tired I don’t think I can brake even if I have too, as I near the apex I can see Alex picking his bike up off the floor, I’m gutted, he wouldn’t have been far outside the top ten going into the final lap! George, Alex and I roll over the line tired, and relieved, in 26th, 34th and 29th positions respectively.

Head down, all out!

After finishing the last two RHCs in the lead group but all the way back mid-twenties, I’m more motivated than ever to get strong for the next meeting in Barcelona on 27th August where I’ll hopefully be finishing a little further up the field! Looking forward to seeing lots of you there!

Words by Reece Wood
Photos by Angus Sung

Getting into my first Red Hook Crit

July 26, 2016 | By | No Comments

I heart trying new types of bike riding. So when the topic of Red Hook Crit London came up, I was like “hells yeah”!
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Nocturne Elite Women’s Race

June 7, 2016 | By | No Comments

Hammering past the pitts into that first main right – the outside line slow, the inside line dicing with cutters. Then sweeping into the first left – nice and wide and smooth. On into the Love Lane chicane and over that smooth turquoise cobbled dial. Followed by the third consecutive right hander, past the huge white banner and blur of faces. And cowbells, so many cowbells. Left, right, into the back straight – maybe a slight drag I don’t know. That lead up to the finish line felt like it went on for an eternity but was over in a flash. The red numbers of the race clock taking longer to come into focus with every approach. Each lap was vying for it’s own title making us play with the different wheels, lines, drains, effort.
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London Nocturne 2016 by Alex Blomeley – Photos by J.Baines

June 7, 2016 | By | No Comments

London Nocturne 2016 and from our perspective the best one yet. A few gripes about the organisation, the lack of pubs surrounding the course and what classes as a critical mechanical failure but on the whole a super successful day. We really liked the St.Pauls circuit it being narrow, technical and flat which makes for fast, heart poppingly strung out racing. The stuff we love and your friendly neighbourhood team in green were out en masse being strongly represented in the LeighDay, Mango Bikes and both the headline Elite races.
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Thundercrit Men’s Race Report

May 18, 2016 | By | No Comments

Firstly, NLTCBMBC outdid themselves. With some great planning and organisation everything went their way on Sunday and we’re stoked for them. The format worked as everyone got some good qualification times and everyone got to race the main event (fastest riders from qualifying at the front). Chapeau guys, it was a great day.
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Thundercrit Women’s Race Report

May 17, 2016 | By | No Comments

Adeline
Two weeks ago, everyone this side of the pond woke up to the videos of RHC. There’s a motorbike and then everything goes real real wrong. Somewhere at the bottom of that pile are our teammates Alex, Reece and George. We’re in Aoife’s flat, getting ready for a big chiltern ride and swallowing porridge isn’t easy that morning.

At some point, Aoife turned to me: “I want to race Thundercrit, do you want to race with me?”
My mouth says “Yeah cool, let’s do it”
But my brain is like “WTF ARE YOU MAD?!”
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Red Hook Crit Milan 6 ‘The Hard Way’

October 14, 2015 | By | One Comment

My 5th Red Hook and by far the most eventful yet and this is really saying something because I’m still shouting about the last 4 races to anyone who’ll give me an audience.

The events surrounding the race like the pre-party, the after party, transportation, accommodation, food, weather and people was just smooth sailing. The racing on the other hand was off the hook fast, furious and so much ‘fun’. How I’d really describe it is that its one of those things that at the beginning there’s apprehension, a worry and a ‘should I really do this’. Then after the actual event it’s that total, unequivocal, full and freeing ‘HELL YEAH!!!’ succeeded by the understanding that it was the one and only decision you could have made and the adrenaline and experience will be with you from that point through to the next pant filling and life affirming thing you want to do.

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Red Hook Crit BCN 3 by Alex Blomeley

September 29, 2015 | By | No Comments

Theres always a lot of stories that come out of crit week. Most of which are super positive. You can’t avoid breaks, bruises and all sorts in racing like this but everyone comes away with something and no matter what it is you always want to go back. Red Hook Crit Barcelona 3 really had everything, even tears (quickly followed by some serious dancing) and we weren’t without our fair share… Read More

14 Jul

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Red Hook Crit London by Sam Dunn

July 14, 2015 | By | No Comments

Artist Sam Dunn took some lovely photo, catching some great moments from the weekend’s Red Hook Crit race. Click read more to check them out.  Read More

Red Hook Crit London 1 by Jon Baines

July 13, 2015 | By | No Comments

After a long time waiting (over 2 years) the famous Red Hook Crit was finally held in London. You never know what the 1st time in a new city is going to be like, but RHC LDN 1 was very successful. Huge congratulations to David Trimble, from RHC/Trimble Racing and Rockstar Games for throwing an amazing event in our home turf.

We had Reece Wood, George Garnier, Alex Blomeley and Rudy Melo from the #5thLDN taking part on London’s round

We had a team plan for the qualifying round and had a really good run, but unfortunately our fastest lap was neutralised just before we made it across the start/finish line due to a crash. We were told that our hot lap would have put us all in the top 20 on the grid for the main race. But we strongly managed to qualify to the final with our second fastest lap, Reece 45th, George 47th, Alex 53rd & Rudy 81st.

After an unlucky start for Rudy, having to avoid 2 riders that crashed into each other at the start line, he spent half of the race trying to get back into it, while George, Reece and Alex were having a really strong race with all 3 riders in the main group.

George was strongly sitting in the top 20 before he got taken out in one of the corners, unfortunately similar thing happened to Reece on the same corner, but that didn’t stop them to get back up and finish. Alex was having a really good race, moving up places and staying out of trouble.

The first Red Hook Crit London was won by William Guzman with Mario Paz Duque in second and Thibaud Lhenry in 3rd, Alex came in a few seconds later, in the same group with a strong 25th placing while George and Reece recovered to finish in 35th and 41st with Rudy stopping and finishing 78th.

Photographer and friend Jon Baines from Roadbook Britannia was there covering the race. Click read more below for his gallery and head over to Roadbook Britannia for deeper race report and more photos. Read More