RHC Brooklyn No ten
Red Hook Crit Brooklyn April 28 2017
The event that kept me motivated during the whole winter was finally around the corner and I knew my shape was on a high. Perfect timing!
Race day started with some proper coffee and a little spin through Brooklyn to get to the race venue at the Cruise Terminal.
With the new qualifying format that put me in the very competitive third heat I would have to be ready to race in the afternoon. I was way too excited, nervous and even a bit scared of the possibility of not qualifying for the finals. I tend to underestimate myself and so it came that qualifying was not such a big problem but big fun. Anyone around me probably noticed my relief after qualifying safely in 7th spot without investing too much of my energy.
Nowadays the most important part of the race is the time between the heats and the feature events in the evening, so I had made sure I was well prepared for that time span. Recover as quickly as possible, eat and drink enough but don’t get too lazy!
The hours before the race happened to be very short and I had to get back to Red Hook and warm up.
Within the first few laps of the race I tried to settle myself within the top 10 riders of the field. This would be the area I was going to stick to. I tried not to burn too many matches and stay fresh for the final laps. In hindsight I definitely should have worked a bit moreas there is no saving energy anymore in the crit with high-class teams trying to control the whole peloton. Tactics of riders without a team or with a weak one will definitely change after the experience we’ve made.
With less than ten laps to go it is clear that the controlling of the Specialized team will be successful and the two-man break of Schäfer and Strickland will battle for the win. So this is the point where the racing in the peloton starts to get hectic as everybody tries to bring himself in a decent position. Lots of attacking, but I still felt very comfortable. I felt good enough to secure at least a spot among the first ten riders. Just when I wanted to start working more and try to move up I got involved in the massive crash with 5 laps to go.
It happened right in front of me and I couldn’t help but go over the top of a rider lying on the tarmac in front of me. I don’t know how, but I managed to stay more or less fine and even my bike was still rideable. The race was stopped. I didn’t really know why. I should be happy that I was still able to finish. Unfortunately during the restart a mistake of the race organisator put me in the wrong group and there was not enough time to discuss. Mistakes happen in the heat of the moment but now I have no chance to get the result I know was achievable. With this unlucky mistake I didn’t think about my result anymore, so even if I did not get the result I deserved, I still believe the race was a success! I showed to myself that my training is good enough to keep up with the best and this gives me lots of confidence for London, which is something I had missed here in Brooklyn.
The trip to New York, the event and especially meeting the people involved in the Stanridge Cycles team has been a beautiful experience. To me it showed once again that the Red Hook Crit is not about results only but about having the times of our lives! -Robin Gemperle
RHC BROOKLYN NO TEN
Red Hook Crit 2017, one week to go and a week of excitement and nerves all at the same time. Tapering the training, goodbye to work commitments and packing all the bike stuff… including the Stanridge speed machine itself! 8:30am flight mode…
Brooklyn bound!! Skipping the 12hour mammoth sleep, jet lag was well gone! Pre race photo shoot had arrived already, with the awesome Jason Sellers, who I would like to say, is the most enthusiastic photographer I’ve worked with, gaining height climbing traffic lights and making friends with the local hi vis vest workman , just so our latest sponsor ‘HiFi’ VERY FLURO wheels can stand out a bit more! Every minor detail counts for the right shot!
This year Stanridge have a team, Robin Gemperle, with the next awesome Stanridge Deathspray bike! That's right, two bikes ready to race fluro!!
Whilst all the fun continues throughout the whole Red Hook excitement, getting prepared for race day comes first. My pre race routine, spinning the legs around Prospect park, making sure everything on the bike is all set, new wheels riding fast! The legs taking some ice cold prep, tunes and good food! I like to be relaxed, mentally knowing I'm prepared.
Race day!!! I love the atmosphere of turning up and seeing all the riders, friends from other countries! It’s a buzz you can't explain that stays with you all day. This year the new rules took place so things were different, I really enjoyed the new strategy of the race rules. Finishing 5th in my heat and 5th in super pole, I was really happy and felt strong for the final…
The final was interesting and frustrating at the same time, finishing 15th, however chasing against headwind to get back on after a crash wasn’t what I had planned. With only 2laps to go I didn't quite beat the headwind, not even the lady of Liberty could give me push! I gave it everything I had and the legs sure knew about ittoo! Anything can happen in a race, more fire in the belly for the next! Reflecting on this, I turned the negatives into positives. Overall knowing I kept a consistent top 10 prior to the final. I couldn't of asked for anymore, your body races to its limits and so this is what I'll continue to do! -Hayley