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.
Billed as ‘the first ever closed road Gran Fondo event in the UK’, the Tour of Cambridgeshire was a 128km loop out of Peterborough around the beautiful (and very flat) Cambridgeshire countryside. The organisers likened it to the London Marathon – closed road, with the elites at the front racing for a good time and the rest as a personal challenge. And with the top 25% from each age group being invited to compete in the UCI World Championships, the pressure was on.
On Saturday Daniel and I (Rudy) worked well together in the Cat 3 race and it paid off. We made sure we were towards the front of the race, chasing any attack, bridging gaps, staying out of trouble, etc. Coming up to the prime lap, Daniel rode hard on the front for nearly the whole lap, leading me out coming up to the hill finish, I just went for it, wasn’t planning to, but thought “Why not?”. When I looked over my shoulder no one was near me. Coffee was on me.
The race carried on as normal, and after just over 1hr of racing the commissarie put the 6 laps count down (instead of 3). I heard a few people in the group complaining as they wish it was 3 to go. I was feeling okay, so I started to think of position and go with any attempt to break away. A couple of guys did, I chased and brought the bunch with me, I wish it was just me, but no, people like to follow. With 2 laps to go it started to rain HARD, which made the race more epic.
In the last lap Daniel and I were up there, 1st and second, we slowed down letting a couple people get in front of us and coming up to the hilly sprint finish, I went for it, just like the prime lap, but this time was too early, someone went past me, but I saw in the corner of my eye that it was Daniel who ended up winning it and I came 3rd. Another guy just managed to go around me at the last meter or so (see photo 2).
Unfortunately it wasn’t a 1, 2 but a 1, 3 and a prime was pretty good. And to make the day even better we found out that team mate Luke Clark got a strong 3rd place in the Cat 4 race, getting enough points to move up to Cat 3.
Last Sunday Rudy, George, Pasquale, Reece and I travelled down to Kenardington in Kent (close to Ashford) for 5th Floor’s first road race in the South East Road Race League (SERRL) Summer Series. The race was 9 laps of a 10km circuit (including one ‘neutralised’ lap – didn’t feel like it!), which meant it took just over two hours and 90km to complete. There were about 60 riders in the field, and this race was categorised 3/4, so had both 3rd Cat and 4th Cat riders in the same race. The course had a few small climbs, enough to burn the legs, but not severe enough to cause much difficulty for most of the field…
The Killington Stage Race held in Killington Vermont is the first major amateur stage race of the year here in the Northeast. Spanning the extended Memorial Day weekend, Day 1 begins with a circuit road race, followed by a lumpy 100km road race on Day 2, and finishing up on the Monday holiday with an 11 mile race of truth.
The Orchard Beach / Bear Mountain Classic has always been a big one two hit of a weekend. Much of this can be attributed to the rarity of the Orchard Beach crit course in NY – a true 4 corner flat crit, then followed on Sunday by a 55 mile 5,500ft of climbing race that creates an unrecognized stage race weekend.
The over-riding reason this is such a big weekend is the effort and organization that goes into making these races absolute jewels in the Calendar by CRCA. We can’t thank those involved enough.
The 2015 weekend was to take on special significance with Bear being attributed the NY State Champs Road Race and the CRCA adding the incentive of an Omnium purse for those who did both.
Historically both Orchard Beach and the NYS RR Championship have been good to 5th NYC with Ryan placing 3rd in the champs last year and Chris winning Orchard Beach in 2013, placing 4th in 2014 behind Nik in 3rd place. Despite being ‘suited’ to me I had yet to achieve a result at Orchard…