Red Hook Brooklyn VI Criterium

Rainier posted his Red Hook race report up. Keep up with him HERE.

My Vigorelli was mostly the same as the last couple Red Hooks. 51-15 gear ratio and my track sewups were new. The drive side crank was NJS certified and the saddle BG certified, as usual.

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The qualifiers were interesting, fun, confusing, necessary, helpful, and dangerous. I followed the pack around for a while to get warmed up, dudes in the group were throwing down for their fastest times around the course. Each racer’s fastest lap time would be compared to everyone else’s and the one hundred fastest would compete in the main race. At least that’s how I think it worked. So there were little packs of racers spread all around the course having a go at their fastest lap. After warming up on the heels of others, MASH SF—Chas, Kyle, and I—gave Walton a TTT in our Giro Air Attacks to boost his already impressive second-fastest qualifying time to the fastest-qualifying time. He came through by a tenth of a second. $200.

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Several hours, a couple bagels, and an avocado sandwich later I was lining up for the main race. Walton and Kyle were in the front row, Chas and I were in the second. Basically we were all in good spots, lined up according to our fastest qualifying lap time. The instant the whistle blew, shit hit the fan. A racer in the front row didn’t clip into his pedals and freaked out, flipping over his handlebars and taking out at least one other racer. So much for that first-lap prime dude. After the handlebar flip freakout I was maybe twenty five people back?

Racers were going into the hairpin really fast, then slowing way down, overlapping wheels in the process. After one such overlap, Walton had to duck (twenty seconds in) through cones to avoid a collision. It was scary out there.

After taking my sweet time getting to the front of the group, the race was nearly over. With five laps to go, Walton and I were in the top five. We stayed out of the wind and waited for the finish. In the last lap a ChampSys racer took a half-lap pull/attack/something, after which everyone slowed down. We were going to get swarmed if someone didn’t hit it.

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In Red Hook Milan, Eduard Grosu did not follow his line and crashed into me, putting me twice against the curb in the hairpin, taking me out of the sprint for the finish. With this in mind, and knowing Walton is also in this group, I lead the group out from the chicane. A few hundred meters later I was setting up to approach the hairpin and no one was in front of me. The instant before the hairpin five dudes went FLYING around me! Those dudes hit the corner really hard, Walton fishtailing to stay with Neil Brezdek. He managed a podium finish and I finished sixth.



Photos: W9 Magazine