RED HOOK CRITERIUM: BARCELONA 2013 Aug 27, 2013 Categories: MASH Frames, Redhook Crit 0 Comment We are home from a exciting trip to Barcelona Spain for the third installment of the Red Hook Criterium, for the 2013 season. We traveled with the same team of four racers that had attended the first two races of the series, bringing Chas, Kyle, Rainier, and Walton. Landing five days early, gave the racers time to shake the plane legs, enjoy the warm weather, warm water, and to see the sites, with friends who had all re-grouped in this inspirational city. MASH was born out of my love for sharing photographs and video of cyclists I looked up to. In the beginning Gabe Morford and I documented an era of street cycling that was happening around us. This effort lead to many other opportunities, ultimately allowing me to better support a street racing team, and a cyclocross team. Wearing many hats in this small project means I have learned to set priorities within all of these moving parts. My first priority is to care for the athletes. Making sure they have the tools they need to reach their personal goals. I am always ready to put down my bag of lenses, and care for any one of these guys before, during, and after the race. At this point, I think I am the only photographer with a race team in these events. With that said, I love shooting short duration events, working to tell a story of the event, and our friend’s experiences on and off the bike. Crit and Cyclocross races are such a blast to document because the athletes keep lapping back to you, giving multiple opportunities to show a well rounded photographic account of the event. Enclosed are moments I recorded on August 24th 2013, at the Red Hook Criterium, Barcelona. No problem This was a white on white sample tape that was not produced. As it wore in, the contrast was amplified. With a crash the previous weekend at Floyd, Kyle had his share of road rash to mange on this trip. I hope the salty sea water helped dry him out a bit. It is always fun to see the range bikes brought to race in these events. Inspiration comes from many places. Kyle blew off steam before the qualifier with some classic tricks. We loved getting to race with Larz at this event. We have so many friends around the world, you quickly miss them once you get back on the plane. With close to 200 racers registered to qualify in three heats, the pack would quickly be broken down to 85 for the main event. This was the first time the guys really had a team esthetic on the bike. It injected a strong sense of Team, to have new product support from the sponsors. No more spray painted frames, and heavy dented clinchers. It was the first time they raced tubulars at these events, and the difference in performance was unmatched. Pit / Podium David runs these events like clockwork. You can always count on a near pro level system to be in place. Walton is really strong right now. With a win in LA, he really wants to put together a flawless Red Hook race. From the start of our qualifying group, the whole team was marked. It was impossible to put in a good qualifying time, with massive packs of wheel suckers trying to jump on our train and benefit from our effort. In the end, the guys had to break up, and put in individual times, which was not as effective as working in a group. Evan put in his all, and clocked the fastest qualifying time with road teammate Neil Bezdek. Ferran was an incredible support for the entire week. Linking riders up with the opportunity to ride the D’Horta Velodrome, and enriching the main event with boundless efforts. We are all grateful for your help Ferran! Kyle getting aclimated to the idea he would be chased by a large section of the qualifying group.Larz put in a fast lap time, and moved on to the main race. After the qualifier, these come out. Some of the racers stare at a stack of cogs and rings, knowing your damned if you do, and damned if you don’t. With several crashes, at Brooklyn, including a devastating one involving Joshua Hartman, dave was in overtime making sure all the details were sorted out. Last minute preparations After the qualifier, legs go up, and minds go elsewhere to keep nerves calm. These drones have been falling on people around the globe, so we are wondering if the window to use these additional camera techniques will change in the future. It is always fun to see these videos of the events, and this pilot was a champ, even with major wind challenges that all the racers battled throughout the night. All bikes were out to watch the race. This gentleman entertained the crowd with his natural abilities. It was an honor to have SHEONE hanging out with us on race day. During the event he made a pencil sketch for my son, which was by far the best souvenir brought home from this trip. JT had quite a fruit still-life arranged within his Sidi’s. Chas is a true ambassador for the sport. The nicest guy on and off the bike, and for this, he has some fans. He was unfazed to have 50 spectators watch him warm up. These types of details are reminders of why we love these events. Non-pro cyclists from mixed disciplines, all with the opportunity to compete in these organized events. By the end of the night, you know where you stand with this group. Clean slate for the main event The medic tent stayed busy through qualifiers, and ramped up during the main event. It is still an honor for these non-pro athletes to be recognized in their field. There is always time for a photo, and introduction. Walton and Evan share some pre-race hype. Minutes before the main race, it began to drizzle. This was the first rain Barcelona had seen in months, creating a very slippery corse in spots. Metal grates, and food truck grease would begin to become more evident throughout the night. Chas really wanted the first lap prime, then to be a team player, chasing down attacks for his team, and helping set the pace. The location for this race was a solar field, which created a dramatic background for the racers, and spectators. Our group worked the front of the race early on, helping drive the pace with a select few. This corner quickly became popular for spectators. You would hear the entire crowd collectively gasp as a racer would go down, and shortly after blast with cheers as the racer, or racers would re-mount, jumping back into the race. Collar Bone Neil was victim to the greasy corner under the solar covering. There must have been twenty racers go down in this corner within the forty minute race. Kyle and Evan Murphy Stefan at the line Victory Lap Rainier finished third, behind Stefan and Evan. He worked hard to organize the team, and we are proud of his finish. This is his second top three finish out of four Red Hook events he has attended. The nights winner was Stefan Vis. I hope his life story is well documented. He is a fighter, who has seen success, and hardship. A legandary messenger, and track racer. Many of the racers in the field did not like his agressive race tactics, but on this night, it put him in the number one spot. Team Dosnoventa are a good group of guys. We enjoyed hanging out all week, and racing beside them on this night. Thanks for taking great care of the guys while we were in town. Kyle broke from the lead group, and looked good. He was reeled back with a few to go, finishing 5th on this night. Walton got caught behind Neil’s crash in the lead group, separating his from the group. He fought to bridge up, but crashed on the last lap. All the planning does not always lead to the result these guys want. It is hard to see these guys frustrated, but it does stoke the fire for the next one. This means a great deal to me. Rainier and Kyle sharing the podium for this one. We feel lucky to have a small team of four, all capable to get on the podium. Their ability to work well together has put them in the number one team position for the series at this time, with Kyle in second for the individual athletes. This is the first time the Murphy brothers have shared the podium. Kyle has been living in New York, working with Evan and Tom Sachs, racing on the same road team, and his efforts are shaping him as an artist, and athlete. These moments are always special, no matter how many times it happens. My goal is to help our friends meet or exceed their personal goals, so to see them on the podium at every one of these races, as the races get more and more difficult, is a testament to what MASH has always been. Friends riding bikes. Congratulations Stefan! Cooper focused on routing the after-party. Good night Barcelona. Thank you for an incredible trip. It felt like vacation, with warm beaches, and warm people. Thanks to the all the volunteers, and organizers for making these special events happen. We are happy to be part of the excitement. Thank you to Chas Christiansen, Kyle Murphy, Rainier Schaefer, and Walton Brush for selflessly putting it all on the line every time, and racing a great race. We are lucky to have you as friends, and teammates. Thank you Garrett Chow, for continuing to see the inspiration in MASH, and help shape our path. Thanks to our sponsors for keeping the guys fresh. CINELLI, CLIF, BOREAS, ENDO CUSTOMS, GIRO, OALKEY, CONTINENTAL TIRES, HED CYCLING, and SAN MARCO. We want to try to get a few racers to Milano for the last race, but as a small bike shop, this international travel does not come easy. We hope to see you there!