This past Saturday saw the Red Hook Crit take over the Greenwich Peninsula, bringing with it almost 200 cyclists from around the world.
The Red Hook Criterium is considered to be the world’s premier track bike crit, often featuring a mix of professional road racers, track specialists, bike messengers and urban cyclists competing over multiple laps around a fast technical circuit. All riders need to be on fixed gear track bicycles, meaning riders have to possess street-tuned handling skills and a high level of fitness.
The car park beneath the Emirates airline was transformed into a 1.25km track, which pushed the riders through long sprint sections and technical corners. During the qualifiers one particularly tight corner claimed a collarbone and saw a fork completely snap!
The day started out with the women’s qualifying heat, and as there were only 39 entrants, all had automatic qualification for the final that evening. Don’t let this give you the wrong impression though, these women were all incredible cyclists who dominated the track and put on a fantastic spectacle. It is a growing area in women’s cycling here in the UK and was really exciting to see such a strong turn out. At the end of the night, Ainara Elbusto Arteaga managed to hold on to the RHC winner’s jersey she picked up in Brooklyn.
The men’s qualifiers were much more gruelling with a few big crashes, whittling down the field to a 86 finalists. William Guzman, a favourite, took first place in the men’s race after a fourth place finish in Brooklyn back in April.
Hopefully we will see the Red Hook back in London next year with even more female cyclists involved.
Check out their website to see where other races will take place throughout the year. http://redhookcrit.com