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Criterium

8bar crit 2016

October 26, 2016 | By | No Comments

Back in September, check Alex Blomeley headed out to Berlin to compete in the 8bar crit, steroids organised by our adidas brothers. Up against some serious European talent, case Alex came away with an awesome 4th place – read his full write up here. As we know, it’s not easy putting on a race but it looks like 8bar and adidas did an incredible job – bring on next year!

#8barcrit by Alex Blomeley

September 28, 2016 | By | One Comment

First off the Templehof is sick. Its Regents Park on crack with no cars and the Berliners are understandably proud of it. It’s a huge space and the 1.3km concrete marvel that is the terminal is a sight to behold especially now that it’s current use is to house war refugees from Syria. There’s just something awesome about thrashing it down an airport runway.
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8bar and the title sponsor adidas put on an equally impressive show with the now annual #8barCrit. A strong local presence backed with a few international hitters made for a high quality race. I was confident from the outset as I knew who the strongmen were and reckoned I do a good job. A 2nd place in qualifying proved that and I was ready to drop hammers in the final.

The course was technical but really wide. The corners were taped in the dangerous parts so the was plenty of room to manoeuvre. All in all it was a pretty safe days racing, 1 or two crashes but thankfully nothing serious.

Support race and the Women’s final (a cracking battle in that) in the bag it was our turn to make each other suffer. Parade lap done the multi coloured bunting came out for the third and final time to rack the riders up, cute. The crowd was sizeable and the BBQ smoke blowing over the course thick and sausagey. Germans could definitely use a lesson in cheering & heckling from the British and the Americans, you gotta SCREAM GUYS!!! That said they did get into it and the support was good, maybe they hadn’t drunk enough, surprising because the Pilsner is SO good in Berlin.

In the race I attacked, chased and drove the pace a lot. Generally just trying to making a nuisance of myself and take the race by the scruff. It was a lot of fun. 8bar did a good job controlling the race for the first half but missed a beat when they didn’t organise themselves fast enough in bringing back the eventual winner Stefan Schafer. They’d put themselves in the position where they were in charge, they had numbers and had efficiently worked everyone over in the first half so when the Stefan broke everyone looked at them and they bottled it, eventually losing out on a podium as well. Props to Silvio from Standert and Owen from ELF because us three did a whole lot of work on the front keeping the pace hard and fast.

Last few laps got a bit tight with people trying to move up into a winning position but they were chancers and quickly faded as the pace racked up. Unfortunately my sprint got blocked slightly by an 8bar riders saddle shattering in front of me in the last 100m which was a shame as my sprint was good and I was confident of getting the bunch sprint win.

It was a great atmosphere and the organisation was spot on. The weather was great and by the time the finals were in the wind had dropped, much to the surprise of the locals (Tempelhof is notorious for epic wind).

So in the end my results were 2nd fastest qualifier, 2nd in both primes and 4th overall (1 place away from a podium), so for today at least I was the bridesmaid. For all that effort I didn’t win anything but that’s not the point is it? Both races I’ve done in Berlin this year have been some of the most fun I’ve ever had on two wheels. I’ll be back in 2017 for more Pilsner and to improve on my placings from 2016. I’m bringing the team with me, no more bridesmaid.

Words by Alex Blomeley
Photos by Stefan Haehnel

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, healing George and I line up alongside one another on the starting grid, pharm 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?
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Nocturne Elite Women’s Race

June 7, 2016 | By | No Comments

London Nocturne 2016 and from our perspective the best one yet. A few gripes about the organisation, buy 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, sickness
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.

LeighDay
Miscommunication from organisers the race started 10 or maybe 15 minutes early (depending on which start sheet you were looking at) and right away there’s a crash. True to form I’m in the middle of it. Cut knee and elbows, bars bent out of alignment and some guys brake lever had pieced my jersey.



This was unusual and we were dumbfounded as to how to remedy the situation whilst everyone else scrambled for their bikes. Neil (racing buddy from team Kibosh) and I regained our composure and after a bit of yelling at whoever would take it we got round to the pits to take the rest of the lap out and rejoin the race. We joined in near the front and anyone who had anything to say about that quickly shut-up when Neil did nearly 4 laps on the front and I stuck a break-away with two other guys halfway through the race. We raced hard, set the pace and earned our position up there. I managed to finish 6th with Neil puncturing on the penultimate lap. The rest of the 5th boys, Reece, George and Raffa, rolled in with the pack.

Mango Bikes Track Crit

After a race that good i’m not gonna bother with being modest, we owned it. LaClassica (2/3’s of their team racing Nocturne are also 5th Floor) boys and us set the pace from the first to the very last lap. The two teams both worked with and attacked each other, and our lead group shelled more and more riders throughout the race. It was a hell of a lot of fun. Props to everyone racing and we imagine next year will be a very different scenario but this time it was ours. Raffa made a superhuman effort to bridge from what was nearly 20seconds back in the 2nd group to lead us all out in the last lap ensuring a safe sprint.

It was quick and Alec fairly comfortably took the win with me coming in just behind for 2nd and George for 3rd. In our eyes thats a 5th 1/2/3!

Elite Mens/Womens
I hit the booze pretty hard after the Mango Crit. I got handed a bottle of Proscecco and something dubbed a ’street martini’ (a thermos full of frozen Greygoose with a thimbleful of local hackney vermouth) so my memories are a little vague of the racing.

What I know is that I lost my voice from shouting encouragement to the 5th’s racing somewhere between seeing Soph drilling the front of the 2nd group in her race and Alec making what was to be the race winning break in his (later being forced to retire due to a mechanical). What a show!

Crit racing is such a good spectator sport and the Nocturne offers the broadest spectacle of that sort of racing anywhere. After a good day racing myself I had a fucking rad time! Finally and as usual with this sort of event I want to thank any and everyone who came to support, get drunk and shout at us. The crowds and the enthusiasm make these events what they are. Be it encouragement or abuse it all works, more so than I ever come to expect. So thank you!

Words: Alex Blomeley
Photos: Jon Baines
London Nocturne 2016 and from our perspective the best one yet. A few gripes about the organisation, illness
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, see
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.

LeighDay
Miscommunication from organisers the race started 10 or maybe 15 minutes early (depending on which start sheet you were looking at) and right away there’s a crash. True to form I’m in the middle of it. Cut knee and elbows, bars bent out of alignment and some guys brake lever had pieced my jersey.



This was unusual and we were dumbfounded as to how to remedy the situation whilst everyone else scrambled for their bikes. Neil (racing buddy from team Kibosh) and I regained our composure and after a bit of yelling at whoever would take it we got round to the pits to take the rest of the lap out and rejoin the race. We joined in near the front and anyone who had anything to say about that quickly shut-up when Neil did nearly 4 laps on the front and I stuck a break-away with two other guys halfway through the race. We raced hard, set the pace and earned our position up there. I managed to finish 6th with Neil puncturing on the penultimate lap. The rest of the 5th boys, Reece, George and Raffa, rolled in with the pack.

 

Mango Bikes Track Crit

After a race that good i’m not gonna bother with being modest, we owned it. LaClassica (2/3’s of their team racing Nocturne are also 5th Floor) boys and us set the pace from the first to the very last lap. The two teams both worked with and attacked each other, and our lead group shelled more and more riders throughout the race. It was a hell of a lot of fun. Props to everyone racing and we imagine next year will be a very different scenario but this time it was ours. Raffa made a superhuman effort to bridge from what was nearly 20seconds back in the 2nd group to lead us all out in the last lap ensuring a safe sprint.

It was quick and Alec fairly comfortably took the win with me coming in just behind for 2nd and George for 3rd. In our eyes thats a 5th 1/2/3!

 

Elite Mens/Womens
I hit the booze pretty hard after the Mango Crit. I got handed a bottle of Proscecco and something dubbed a ’street martini’ (a thermos full of frozen Greygoose with a thimbleful of local hackney vermouth) so my memories are a little vague of the racing.

What I know is that I lost my voice from shouting encouragement to the 5th’s racing somewhere between seeing Soph drilling the front of the 2nd group in her race and Alec making what was to be the race winning break in his (later being forced to retire due to a mechanical). What a show!

 

Crit racing is such a good spectator sport and the Nocturne offers the broadest spectacle of that sort of racing anywhere. After a good day racing myself I had a fucking rad time! Finally and as usual with this sort of event I want to thank any and everyone who came to support, get drunk and shout at us. The crowds and the enthusiasm make these events what they are. Be it encouragement or abuse it all works, more so than I ever come to expect. So thank you!

Words: Alex Blomeley
Photos: Jon Baines
London Nocturne 2016 and from our perspective the best one yet. A few gripes about the organisation, prescription
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, for sale
technical and flat which makes for fast, treat 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.

LeighDay
Miscommunication from organisers the race started 10 or maybe 15 minutes early (depending on which start sheet you were looking at) and right away there’s a crash. True to form I’m in the middle of it. Cut knee and elbows, bars bent out of alignment and some guys brake lever had pieced my jersey.



This was unusual and we were dumbfounded as to how to remedy the situation whilst everyone else scrambled for their bikes. Neil (racing buddy from team Kibosh) and I regained our composure and after a bit of yelling at whoever would take it we got round to the pits to take the rest of the lap out and rejoin the race. We joined in near the front and anyone who had anything to say about that quickly shut-up when Neil did nearly 4 laps on the front and I stuck a break-away with two other guys halfway through the race. We raced hard, set the pace and earned our position up there. I managed to finish 6th with Neil puncturing on the penultimate lap. The rest of the 5th boys, Reece, George and Raffa, rolled in with the pack.

 

Mango Bikes Track Crit

After a race that good i’m not gonna bother with being modest, we owned it. LaClassica (2/3’s of their team racing Nocturne are also 5th Floor) boys and us set the pace from the first to the very last lap. The two teams both worked with and attacked each other, and our lead group shelled more and more riders throughout the race. It was a hell of a lot of fun. Props to everyone racing and we imagine next year will be a very different scenario but this time it was ours. Raffa made a superhuman effort to bridge from what was nearly 20seconds back in the 2nd group to lead us all out in the last lap ensuring a safe sprint.

It was quick and Alec fairly comfortably took the win with me coming in just behind for 2nd and George for 3rd, Reece 7th and Raffa 8th. In our eyes thats a 5th 1/2/3!

 

Elite Mens/Womens
I hit the booze pretty hard after the Mango Crit. I got handed a bottle of Proscecco and something dubbed a ’street martini’ (a thermos full of frozen Greygoose with a thimbleful of local hackney vermouth) so my memories are a little vague of the racing.

What I know is that I lost my voice from shouting encouragement to the 5th’s racing somewhere between seeing Soph drilling the front of the 2nd group in her race and Alec making what was to be the race winning break in his (later being forced to retire due to a mechanical). What a show!

 

Crit racing is such a good spectator sport and the Nocturne offers the broadest spectacle of that sort of racing anywhere. After a good day racing myself I had a fucking rad time! Finally and as usual with this sort of event I want to thank any and everyone who came to support, get drunk and shout at us. The crowds and the enthusiasm make these events what they are. Be it encouragement or abuse it all works, more so than I ever come to expect. So thank you!

Words: Alex Blomeley
Photos: Jon Baines
Hammering past the pitts into that first main right – the outside line slow, dosage
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, health
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

5TD_Header

London Nocturne 2016 and from our perspective the best one yet. A few gripes about the organisation, visit
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, disinfection
technical and flat which makes for fast, health
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.
Read More

Thundercrit Men’s Race Report

May 18, 2016 | By | No Comments

Firstly, neuropathologist
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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Red Hook Crit Milan 6 ‘The Hard Way’

October 14, 2015 | By | One Comment

Bubblecross was a bit of a turning point in the #5thnyc 2015 calendar. It marked the first ever race in the elites by Chris Pino and with another top step at Bubblecross saw Ryan (despite losing his saddle) join him on the receipt of a UCI license for next weekends Cycle Smart in Massachusetts.

Photos by Krys Blakemore of This Team Saves Lives.
Sand Pit Photo: Rich Soffar

Slide 5: Cycling Pictures

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, hospital
the after party, remedy
transportation, physician
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

Concrete, Breast
health marble, roundabouts and racing. Chuck in Nandos and a very ‘local’ hotel and you’ve got the Milton Keynes 2 day race. Don’t get me wrong, we all had a blast. Its just that well, Milton Keynes is a bit shit isn’t it?

Organised by TeamMK at the Milton Keynes bowl the weather blessed us and it was going to be a good weekend of racing. It started with a very short 3km time trail. New lesson learned, 3km time trails suck! We did pretty good, I came in 8th with George in 12th and Rudy and Daniel not too far behind.

This led a little time to wait before the crit scheduled at 3pm. Not much food about at the venue and we were hungry so George, Rudy and I smashed back a bacon and egg bap from the only food vendor which was a burger van. It wasn’t really what we wanted, but it was pretty good. A couple of locals in the queue laughed at me, stating ’proper athlete this one’, I could only shrug and smile in retaliation.

The crit was good, fast paced with a lot of attacking. I managed a breakaway for a bit, got pulled back in and then the attack went that stuck to the end. We missed it and spent most of the rest of the race trying to organise the front into chasing properly which ultimately failed and we lost 40 seconds. The last lap was a bit of a nightmare as we were lapping a large group of riders who had been mistakenly given the last lap board as well which meant that no-one moved and there was an inevitable crash (this was caused by someone, number 73, dropping a shoulder and riding into some poor lad who hit the tarmac like a sack of spuds). Ended up coming in the top ten with George close behind to secure my GC position in the top ten also.

The next day started early in the countryside for a 90km road race in the morning fog. It was great fun, although at one point I was pretty sure I’d lost it all. I punctured at about 50km in just as I was in a good move off the front. Hand up and pedalling slowly, the bunch and my team mates fly past, I heard George shout in protestation at my bad luck. It was gutting and I was sure then that GC and the race were over for me. God bless neutral service. After a quick wheel change I spent the next half an hour pedalling like mad at 60kph behind a BMW estate being dragged back to the field. It was amazing but also properly exhausting, its not easy. I was back in the pack for the last 20km and just had to focus on staying up at the front and setting myself up for the sprint. Going cross eyed with the effort I was praying that around every corner the 1km to go sign would appear. When it finally did Rudy was on the front looking back at me. I knew he wanted to lead me out, he was ready and he’d got it fucking perfect. I nodded and Rudy dropped the hammer. The bunch dragged out into that familiar arrowhead with me 4th wheel. Rudy pulled off with 400 to go, a few riders in front meant I could hold back and at about 100 to go I let it loose.

There was another breakaway which had stuck that day and I came in 7th overall. Leaving me with 9th on GC. The team did a great job and having Rudy up the front in that last KM was one of the best race experiences I’ve had. Chapeau boys and thank you.

– Alex Blomeley
Concrete, unhealthy
marble, look
roundabouts and racing. Chuck in Nandos and a very ‘local’ hotel and you’ve got the Milton Keynes 2 day race. Don’t get me wrong, there
we all had a blast. Its just that well, Milton Keynes is a bit shit isn’t it?

Organised by TeamMK at the Milton Keynes bowl the weather blessed us and it was going to be a good weekend of racing. It started with a very short 3km time trail. New lesson learned, 3km time trails suck! We did pretty good, I came in 8th with George in 12th and Rudy and Daniel not too far behind.

This led a little time to wait before the crit scheduled at 3pm. Not much food about at the venue and we were hungry so George, Rudy and I smashed back a bacon and egg bap from the only food vendor which was a burger van. It wasn’t really what we wanted, but it was pretty good. A couple of locals in the queue laughed at me, stating ’proper athlete this one’, I could only shrug and smile in retaliation.

The crit was good, fast paced with a lot of attacking. I managed a breakaway for a bit, got pulled back in and then the attack went that stuck to the end. We missed it and spent most of the rest of the race trying to organise the front into chasing properly which ultimately failed and we lost 40 seconds. The last lap was a bit of a nightmare as we were lapping a large group of riders who had been mistakenly given the last lap board as well which meant that no-one moved and there was an inevitable crash (this was caused by someone, number 73, dropping a shoulder and riding into some poor lad who hit the tarmac like a sack of spuds). Ended up coming in the top ten with George close behind to secure my GC position in the top ten also.

The next day started early in the countryside for a 90km road race in the morning fog. It was great fun, although at one point I was pretty sure I’d lost it all. I punctured at about 50km in just as I was in a good move off the front. Hand up and pedalling slowly, the bunch and my team mates fly past, I heard George shout in protestation at my bad luck. It was gutting and I was sure then that GC and the race were over for me. God bless neutral service. After a quick wheel change I spent the next half an hour pedalling like mad at 60kph behind a BMW estate being dragged back to the field. It was amazing but also properly exhausting, its not easy. I was back in the pack for the last 20km and just had to focus on staying up at the front and setting myself up for the sprint. Going cross eyed with the effort I was praying that around every corner the 1km to go sign would appear. When it finally did Rudy was on the front looking back at me. I knew he wanted to lead me out, he was ready and he’d got it fucking perfect. I nodded and Rudy dropped the hammer. The bunch dragged out into that familiar arrowhead with me 4th wheel. Rudy pulled off with 400 to go, a few riders in front meant I could hold back and at about 100 to go I let it loose.

There was another breakaway which had stuck that day and I came in 7th overall. Leaving me with 9th on GC. The team did a great job and having Rudy up the front in that last KM was one of the best race experiences I’ve had. Chapeau boys and thank you.

Alex Blomeley
Theres always a lot of stories that come out of crit week. Most of which are super positive. You can’t avoid breaks, purchase 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, cough
even tears (quickly followed by some serious dancing) and we weren’t without our fair share… Read More