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Photography

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”!

hangs

Nerves were high, but team mate tips and chatting with friends put me at ease. Gear ratio decisions dominated.

qualifiers

Qualifiers were weird, there were a number of crashes meaning a lot of stop and go. As a newbie I didn’t quite get how fast you could take those corners.

pizza

Between qualifiers and warm ups, there’s hanging out. Papa brings lunch for the team from Santa Maria Pizzeria. Friends call to say hi and give words of encouragement. Tactics are hashed out.

George

Everyone form 5th is decently placed after the qualifiers. Go team!

Dani + Aoife

Race time, it crept up quickly. I line up next to Dani King. Hero!

Field

And it begins, holy f**k, we’re going into those corners so fast. The crowds were immense. It felt like there was someone shouting for me the whole way round. It takes a few laps for me to relax into it, it’s just riding a bike.

Field

Mental check, I got this. I start moving up the field. A few places each lap. Legs are feeling good, so knew I could get to the front of the group for a good position going into the spring.

Dani wins

And then suddenly we’ve been lapped by Dani, we’re being pulled. The whole field is pulled apart from 3 riders. After the shock that our race is over settles, we cheer Dani to a stunning win.

Alex Reece George

Next up the boys. We’re shouting like crazy, they’re doing awesome. At one point we lost it, “they’re all together”. George, Reece and Alex, all positioned nicely at the sharp end of the race. With what’s left of our voices we go mental for the last laps.

Field

And then it’s over. Warm-down. And with racing there’s disappointments and adrenaline highs. But there’s always another race.

Field

Big up to the organisers for putting on a really awesome event and the insane crowds. I’ve never experienced anything like it, it was ace. Bring on the next one!

Words: Aoife Doherty
Photos: Jon Baines + Angus Sung

5th on Film

June 22, 2016 | By | No Comments

Steel is real and so is film. Here are a few raw, untouched photos of #5thLDN taken by Jammy on his Richoh GR…
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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.

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

03 May

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#5thTrackDay Photos by Jon Baines

May 3, 2016 | By | No Comments

Here are #5thTrackDay’s photos by the talented Jon Baines, just in time to get you hyped for the next track meeting. Click below for the full set.
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London X League – Team Champs

February 16, 2016 | By | No Comments

First of all, there was no running in this race, so this report should be nowhere near as sour as the last one on CX Nationals, so sorry if it disappoints.
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UK Cyclocross National Champs

January 12, 2016 | By | One Comment

I just got back from Cyclcross Nationals in Shrewsbury with The 5th Floor boys – Rudy, Alex and top don photographer, Jon. As I’m the new kid, I’ve got the honours of writing up what I thought of the weekend.
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2015 Photo Round Up

January 1, 2016 | By | No Comments

We were lucky enough to travel to some amazing places to ride and race our bikes in 2015, so we asked riders from London and New York to chose their favourite photo from last year and write few words…
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15 Dec

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5th Floor vs Giau

December 15, 2015 | By | No Comments

Fucking Giau. That’s what we re-named this climb.

As I said in #5thDolomites Part I, this was “the hardest physical thing I’ve done in my life” and I stand by that. I genuinely thought I was going to have to stop and get off my bike.

On the approach, we were met by Pasquale’s good friends and photographers Francesco Rachello and Eloise Mavian. Just weeks before they’d been at the Giro D’Italia so it was an honour to have them capture the pain of Fucking Giau.
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08 Dec

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Beer, frites and bicycles

December 8, 2015 | By | No Comments

I definitely lucked out with this holiday. My girlfriend and I booked a week in Belgium – she was thinking Christmas markets and chocolate. I was thinking beer and cycling. I’ll let you decide which won…

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Rapha Super Cross Round 1 and 2

October 26, 2015 | By | No Comments

Click read more below for Rapha Super Cross words by Rudy Melo and photos by Jon Baines. Read More