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Criterium

8bar crit 2016

October 26, 2016 | By | No Comments

Back in September, Alex Blomeley headed out to Berlin to compete in the 8bar crit, organised by our adidas brothers. Up against some serious European talent, 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.

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, site George and I line up alongside one another on the starting grid, remedy 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, treatment 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

Hammering past the pitts into that first main right – the outside line slow, site 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, remedy 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, click 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, stomach technical and flat which makes for fast, doctor 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, healing 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

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, discount the after party, sales transportation, malady 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, 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, here even tears (quickly followed by some serious dancing) and we weren’t without our fair share… Read More