Ciao all, we are pleased to announce the great success of the first Fixie Crit held at HIllingdon 2 weeks organised by White City Track.Kevin from WCT the "brain" behind the event report back to us.
The weekend before the Red Hook Crit, London cycling collective White City Track teamed up with Saddle Drunk to hold MINET CRIT at Hillingdon Cycle Centre in West London.
The race format, Track Bike Criterium, athletes compete on brakeless track bikes racing multiple times around a technical circuit. Skills required excellent bike handling ability, high level of fitness and a fearless attitude.
Qualifying groups A-F, riders chosen at random to face each group over mini 6 races. Each rider’s heat results determine their starting position for the final race.
Qualifying got underway at 3pm, the riders we charged and ready to go, qualifying heats were high-speed mini races held on the shortened 1km circuit. Riders battled it out in the qualifying heats to set their starting grid position in the final race.
Liam Yates of Neon Velo and La Classica Team rider Andrea Vassallo smashed both of their qualifying heats with 2 wins out of 2 races, followed by single wins by Alessandro Marinari, Jonathon Calderon. East London Fixed rider Matt Payne took 3rd spot on the final grid with consecutive 2nd placing in the qualifiers.
Kiera McVitty took the win in the woman’s heat with an impressive sprint with fellow team mate Corrine Price.
Woman’s Race, athletes lined up in to take their grid positions at 5pm, after 1 neutral lap the race were underway. Kiera McVitty, Jess Morgan and Corrine Price set the pace from the off. The PRIME lap bell was rung on lap 3 and the lead group broke away. Kiera took the PRIME, her prize a golden ticket to ‘the best pizza in London’ Santa Maria. Lina Bivaninte, Imogen Humphris and Jessica Hayes of Velociposse worked together to attempt to narrow the gap but never managed to catch the lead group.
The bell lap rang, the pace increased, Kiera came out of the final corner first and began sprinting for the line with 200m to go, she powered through hands aloft to finish 1st in style, quickly followed 0.9 seconds later by Corrine Price and jess Morgan. Second place was not clear at this point as both riders appeared to cross the line together. Thankfully we had 2 iPhones with ‘Coaches Eye’ positioned each side of the finish line to capture frame by frame video footage. After a good look at all the footage it was clear that Corrine took second place by a whisker.
Men’s Race, 6pm, names were called out in order of grid position with Liam Yates taking the pole position. Kiera McVitty the winner of the woman’s race line up alongside Liam to race with the guys. After a quick briefing from the race director they were of for a ceremonial lap with David Trimble from Red Hook Crit.
Riders were not told when the PRIME bell would ring so the first lap was ridden with caution as no one wanted to burn to quick. Lap 2 came with the bell ringing, shouts of Vai Vai Vai from the Italian crew and they were off. Coming out of the last corner were 4 contenders for the PRIME pizza, pretty much head to head until Andrea Vassallo narrowly beat fellow Italian Alessandro Mariani to the line. The race regrouped and riders settled back in again.
Crash! 4 riders go down after a rub of wheels when a rider strays from his line on the ‘Omega Curve’ section. Liam Yates, Matt Payne Kris Snell and Liam Hoffley are all forced to retire from the race to receive road side first aid treatment. This change the dynamics of the race as the fastest qualifier Liam and in form race contender Matt are out.
The pace of the top riders remains high with the NVAYRK team bridging gaps when they appear, Dimitri Demishev and Jordan Grizevivius chase down the race leaders. Dave Noakes, Daniel Mateus and Marlon Sandiford do their work in the middle of the pack to keep the group together.
Bell lap rings and it’s clear that there are 2 men fighting for 1st place, both Andre and Vassallo bolt out from the final corner and begin the sprint for the line. The 300m straight sees both riders neck and neck until Andrea is piped at the line with a lunge-wheelie win for Allessandro. Less than 0.4 of a second separated the top 2 riders in the end. Dimitri broke from the chasing group to finish a strong third place.
The riders do celebration lap with crowd cheering them on, high fives, hugs and handshakes as the riders regroup at Parc Ferme by the finish line.
Photographers gather, the crowd gathers as 3 plastic chairs are lined up for the podium ceremony. The girls go first to receive their prizes on the podium, Kiera pops the cork on the champagne and celebrates in style; Jess uses her prize bag to shield the onslaught of spraying Champaign.
Next up the men’s podium, Alessandro flew from Milan especially to race the MINET CRIT and won it! Again pops the cork and soaks the photographers!
There was great community spirt amongst the athletes and spectators and the warm welcoming of newcomers too. Spectators were amazing; they kept the buzz going all day with boom box antics and cans from Sainsbury’s. The best thing about the day was the spirit at Hillingdon, cool people from different backgrounds, boys and girls, rival teams, parents, children, park goers and a big friendly German Shepherd who stopped to enjoy the racing and have fun!
The race featured 50 riders representing 14 countries, from Cat 1 road and track racers to city bike messengers.
Open to teams and individuals.
Separate men’s and women’s fields, equal prizes for each field.
Qualifying format developed by Red Hook Crit Director David Trimble.
Qualifying race circuit 1km, 4 right hand turns.
Main race circuit 1.5 km 5 right hand turns and one left hand turn, 18 laps men’s, 12 laps women’s.
Woman’s race 12 laps.
Men’s race 18 laps.
Ave speed men’s Winner Alessandro 26.8mph avg 37.6mph max.
1st Kiera McVitty - Why Be Normal?
2nd Corrine Price - Why Be Normal?
3rd Jess Morgan - NLTCBMBC
Pizza PRIME (Santa Maria Pizza)
Kiera McVitty - Why Be Normal?
Lina Bivaninte – Velocipossie
4th Jessica Hayes - Velocipossie
5th Lina Bivaninte - Velocipossie
6th Imogen Humphris - Velocipossie
7th Heather Anderson – KYCU Velo
8th Keziah Unah Cader - Unattached
1st Alessandro Mariani - IRD Carrera SC
2nd Andrea Vassallo - La Classica RT
3rd Dimitri Demishev - NLTCBMBC
Pizza PRIME 1 (Santa Maria Pizza)
Andrea Vassallo - La Classica RT
Matt Payne - East London Fixed
4th Jordan Grizevicius - Convention
5th Daniel Mateus - KYCU Velo
6th Federico Motta - NVAYRK
7th Peter Janak - NVAYRK
8th Dave Nokes - State Bicycle Co
9th John Karlo Corpuz - Red Bike Shop
10th Matthew Johns - Full Denim jacket
11th Henry Summers - NLTCBMBC
12th Ben Ramshaw - KYCU Velo
13th William Fox - East London Fixed
14th argon Sandiford - Defi Collective
15th Jonathon Calderon - TRBS
Race organiser: White City Track.
Volunteers: Rab, Vic, Sukky, Nena, Kuldip, Savraj, Shelly and Kaz.
Photos: Kristina Matovic and David Trimble