The 8bar Crit 2018 – crit season officially startedApril 20 | Race | No Comments on The 8bar Crit 2018 – crit season officially started
It was the fourth year in a row that the 8bar crit was held on our playground – the Tempelhofer Feld – in Berlin on April 14th. We never missed one so far and this year 8bar bikes came up with a few changes. The 8bar crit 2018 also marked the kick-off of the fixed crit season and everyone was stoked to finally get back to fixed gear crit racing.
A new race location & B-finals
As part of the VELO Berlin bike festival the location moved from the open section of the Tempelhofer Feld right in front of the old hangars of the former airport. Due to some limitations for the course design, the track of the 8bar crit 2018 was less technical than the recent years. It was windy as usual on the former airfield, what meant we had to pedal really hard in some sections and got a good push in other parts of the generally fast race track.
Another innovation the 8bar crit introduced this year was a so-called “B-final”. After two heats of qualification the Top25 of each heat moved on into the “A-final” while anybody else lined up in the “B-final”.
Get ready to race
We started the day in the morning with some of us meeting for breakfast and roll to the Tempelhofer Feld together. The VELO area was already packed with people who checked out the newest bike innovations, while outside the first road races took place. With Stefan, Rolf, Raphael, Jojo, Hagen and Robert we were six of the team who raced that day. After saying “hi” to all the friends and crit family, which once more came from all over Europe, it was already time to get ready for the qualifications.
After we put on our brand new race kits – thanks Menschlabor and Biehler Cycling! – we rode some laps on the course. It was clear from the beginning that it won’t be an easy task to stay in the front of the filed to move up to the finals with a good position. While Hagen and Stefan had to face some issues in their first run, Jojo, Raphael, Robert and Rolf made it to the A-final.
We bridge the time between the qualification and the final races with a stroll on the fair when the rain started to pour down outside. Luckily enough it stopped early enough, so the course dried before it was time to race again in the afternoon.
Stefan and Hagen started in the B-final and eventually ended up in a small chase group, a few laps before the end of the ten lap race. In the end they finished 24th and 26th – while both would have wished for some more laps as it took them some time to get into race mode and moved up in the peloton.
Even non of our grrrlz participated in the womans race, it was an exciting race to watch, with a great win of Lena Vogl from the Maloja Pushbikers Fem.
Starting from different positions in the field, the A-final of the 8bar crit was a fight for all of our riders. Raphael had the toughest position from the middle of the starting grid, where it is always hard to move up to the front and the risk to get dropped out of the lead group is high all the time. The race was fast from the gun and many groups were established, with at least one of the mess pack riders within.
Jojo just missed the first lap prime and stayed safely in the top15 all the time. While Robert had some bad luck in the chicane, the only technical section the course featured, when he cliped out with one of his feet and thereby lost the front group. He fought hard till the end and finished 27th, lapped two thirds through the race. Rolf raced hard and managed to stay in the end of the leading group for most of the race. Towards the end he moved up to the front and followed an attack, which didn’t last unfortunately. In the end he finished 18th, a few places behind Jojo (15th) who didn’t have the legs for the final field sprint this time.
Congrats to Stefan Schäfer from team Specialized / Rocket Espresso, who not just won the 8bar crit in a strong sprint finish against David van Eerd, but also rode a solo break-away earlier this day in the road criterium.
Many thanks to 8bar Bikes for this fast and stunning but also windy and wet start into fixed crit season 2018. Next race up is the Steuerradtage Marlow, presented by our friends from One Way Fixed, where we already had a great weekend last year.