Fixed Beers Crit League Race Report
Herne Hill Velodrome
Herne Hill Velodrome is a hub of all things bike. So why not extend that to the exciting world of Fixed Gear?
For the 2019 Fete du Velo HHV put in a section of cobbling to make the Velodrome multipurpose as a rad crit circuit. Let me tell you, it is exciting. Lots of tight turns, fast sections and accidental off road courses.
Fixed Beers chose this great location to hold their inaugural crit league race and it couldn’t have been any more exciting.
The Team Roster and Squad
Lining up on the start we had Henry in the men’s Bs, YJ and Dimitri in the men’s A and Kitty (me again!) in the women’s. We also had Jess ready with the camera and Pickles the dog providing moral support.
The Thundercats massive had a spread across the entire race schedule and had support from a big crew. COVID regulations meant that the team had booked a table in advance and had front row seats to all the action happening at turn one, or as it turned out, the action zone!
Big props to all the team for hitting the ground running this crit season and we’re hoping to cover all the Fixed Beers Crit League races.
Men’s B Race
Henry took on the Men’s B field to kick the evening off. With a strong field of newer riders this race was tough. Average speeds were almost as the As but the field was a real spread of experience.
Henry held a strong position and powered through the corners effortlessly. He also avoided a couple of nasty crashes! All to culminate in a series of Hi-5s that caught Pickles by surprise.
The mens Bs was won by Lew from GFTL with VCL’s Billy and Max coming 2, 3!
Men’s A Race
Just as YJ and Dimitri moved onto the velodrome the Heavens opened with hail and sleet. Even though the ‘drome is specially designed to gain traction in the wet sadly, the cut throughs for the crit surface were getting a little slidey!
They both were sat comfortably tucked behind the front 3 riders ready to cane it round the 22 laps to sprint for victory. Dimitri was working hard with YJ and it was a One-Life, NLTCBMBC and Trash RT face off.
After the first few laps however, the precipitation created a difficult situation. YJ had pumped up his new tyres nice and firm for the dry weather we were having but in the sleet and hail it couldn’t quite handle his technical cornering and on the crit circuit cut through he lost his wheel. With Dimitri and YJ working together taking turns the luck of the draw meant Dimitri just caught YJ as he went down.
Bad luck, but neither gave up finishing in strong positions and doing the Thundercats proud with their tenacity and technical skill. It was also all worth it for Dimitri’s behind the scenes footage where you can see the crash in Technicolor.
The evening closed with a heated Women’s race. The weather improved and we were ready to go.
Velociposse massive dominated the start line with 7 team members signing on. The new Steezy Collective also brought some new faces to the scene.
I kept out at the front as much as I could to avoid the VP vengeance but it all came down to the final sprint where I managed to sneak away from the bunch with 200 to go.
The next round of the Fixed Beers Crit League will be hosted by the creators of Off The Streets – One Life Cycles and you can be sure there will be some Thundercats representing there!
You can bet this is going to be a technical course with a lot of interesting racing to come. There’s going to be a lot of exciting sprints and cornering that makes you hold your breath.
Ever wondered if it’s for you? Head down to the HHV fixed crit sessions run by coach Thea to give it a go.