A long weekend full of racing: 8bar crit and OWF BahneventAugust 12 | Race | No Comments on A long weekend full of racing: 8bar crit and OWF Bahnevent
Last Saturday the 3rd edition of 8bar crit took place in Berlin. We participated with 7 riders in the fixed and the road bike category. On Sunday 4 of us went to Rostock to One Way Fixed Bahnevent, a day with several races on the lovely velodrome next to the Baltic Sea. Read about the experiences of some of us:
For the 2017 edition of the 8bar crit I decided to not just race the fixed gear race but also the road race which was held for the first time. I already had regrets when i arrived at the Tempelhof Airport Saturday morning. My legs felt heavy and tired and I knew I wasn’t in best shape. Nevertheless I wanted to enjoy the day and to give my best of course.
I was in the second qualifying heat together with my mates Rolf and Stefan and I knew I’d be safe in the finals if I made it to the top 25 out of 40 somewhat starters. However I aimed for a top 10 position as the result determined my starting position in the main race later that day. I was aware not to ride too big of a gear as the technical course featured one hairpin and a S curve and decided for 49×15. A gear which I normally be able to push hard enough to accelerate fast after turns. After a perfect start I lead the field through the first turns and until I approached the long head wind section right after the S curve I felt quite comfortable on the challenging track. But in the battle against the wind and on the start finish line I felt a lack of power this day and quickly had to give up positions before I got dropped by the first group eventually. So I raced half of the qualification by myself and finished 13th, close but clearly behind my expectations. I couldn’t imagine myself doing the 30 lap main race and felt destroyed and quite low on motivation.
With a 90 min break I got some food and some protein shake and tried to chill a bit. When it was time to do the road race – which started right with the finals due only 19 people attended – it started to rain. My first thought was “of course now it has to rain…” and was a little paused, but quickly laughed about it, ready to face whatever gonna be throwing towards me. Once more I had a great start and was first who entered the first turns. When Paul from 8bar team slipped and crashed right behind me in a wide right turn I realized that this will not just break the field for now but maybe also make other feel insecure who aren’t used to ride in the rain a lot. I didn’t allowed myself to turn around before I passed the S curve and realized that the chase group was only a few riders strong. Somehow I stayed at the front for the first seven laps. I believe finding comfort in taking the turns as I pleased and the feeling of trust in the grip of my Michelin tires more then the others. But my time at the front would come at a prize: towards the ten lap prime attacks were ridden and the group got a bit pulled apart putting me at the last position. I know that on the last spot in a group it’s most likely to get dropped first and tried to move up again. For the second time of that day I had to let the wheel in front of me. In the end I did 19 out of 25 laps before I got lapped by Silvio from Team Standert who went for a strong break away. I was still satisfied with my 6th place in the end, right after my mate Rolf.
The fixed final of the men at the 8bar crit started with some sorting of the starting grid. I knew I would need to push hard right from the beginning to move up as quickly as possible from my position in the middle of the field. This time my start didn’t went as perfect as in the races before and my legs felt empty right from the beginning. When I approached the head wind section for the first time I already regretted that I haven’t changed to a smaller gear. I didn’t even made it half way through the race with loosing a few places every lap and I had to let folks pass me which I know I normally would race with together and could beat. I’m proud I threw myself into three races in total this day and had great fun with friends at my home ground on the Tempelhofer air field where I also used to train. I’m already looking forward to the next races and the time in between to train and relax and train and relax …
8 bar crit
After a few weeks without racing I was quite nervous. I did not feel particularly fit and was afraid to perform badly. Funny that I started with similar thoughts last year at the same 8 bar crit.
But this year it was different. The course was great! I love corners but there were also many small stones on the track, so I did not really dare to ride the corners quickly after my rear wheel slipped while I tested the course.
After a bike check, we went to the starting line for the women’s qualifying. Ten laps to decide the starting position for the final race. My start was perfect and I quickly had a big distance to the other riders in the first round. At the beginning, everything went great and I could easily hold five laps in the leading group but then I did not have the power in my legs anymore. The other women had probably more respect for the stony turnarounds, by the strong deceleration and again acceleration, I simply lost too much power. I went back to seventh place and fought further. In the last lap, I was caught before the final turn by Beth and I didn”t have the power to win the sprint. So place eight for me. I was dissatisfied with my performance.
My teammates were motivating, they quickly rebuilt me and gave me a lot mental power. I decided to ride a 48/16 instead of a 48/15 in the final, that should make it easier for me to speed up from the corners.
With more than four hours to wait until the finals, we found it just as exciting to see the guys racing their qualification races. So time passed slowly and we finally it was the women’s final fixed-gear crit race. After an introductory round, we were shown to our starting positions. When the moderator announced that the first fastest round was to be premiered, I was overcome by a newfound motivation! I’ll get it! Just like last year! I started out in the fourth row and was lucky to find a good gap after the start to again quickly make a big distance to the other women. After the half of the first lap, it was clear to me that I had at least this victory in my pocket. Through flow of adrenaline, I crossed the finish line with satisfaction and won the first lap prime!
Now it was time to rest. I waited for the others to catch up with me and I hung relaxed in the leadership group. Choosing a smaller gear was a good choice. I had far less problems with the curves and I also tried to ride the curves wider so as to not lose so much speed. After ten rounds of the energy-sapping slow curves and a short unmotivated moment, I lost the wheel of the leader group. I tried to get back to the first group for about three rounds but I had no chance alone in the wind.
Nevertheless, I did not let myself be demotivated and fought on. Another rider dropped back from the leader group and I had hoped to at least to be able to catch up to her. The cheers from the crowd pushed me further but I still could not get closer. Finally the 20 rounds ended and I finished 8th place. I was very satisfied with my performance.
At the award ceremony I was pleasantly surprised when my name was called out again to be given the title of the top antagonist rider. I am really happy about it and I think it’s great that the 8 bar crew did not just think about the first three places. Thank you so much for this great day!
One way fixed Bahnevent Rostock
After a short sleep, we went to the track event organised by the one way fixed crew in Rostock. I’m not really the track rider as I prefer riding technically and on the road, but I did not want to miss it either. The track is outside, unroofed, made of concrete and very flat ground. It was a very long day with lots of waiting around but weather was ok and we chilled on the grass in the middle of the velodrome. It started with a 250m sprint with a standing start in which I came 3rd place. There was only one omnium evaluation and the individual disciplines gave us points.
The other disciplines were 500m sprint with flying start, 1 vs 1 (750m) and a team sprint. Overall I made enough points to take 3rd place. I was really happy about!
Thanks for organising this event and for the lovely handmade prize One Way Fixed Crew!
So, after I became a father this spring, I have less time for training at these days and just try hard to keep my strength and stay in shape. The 8bar crit is only the third race I have taken part this year and it is my personal highlight.
I totally messed up the qualification run – as always. So I had to go to the last chance race to keep my chance for the finals. I had an excellent start and got directly into the leading group. Everybody wanted to take the opportunity to become one of the 10 lucky ones who would get a ticket for the finals. The speed raised up during the last laps, but I was in control of my position all the time. In the last lap, I put all in and took my advantage after the last curve to start an final sprint. And yes, I made it up on 1st place and qualified for the finals. Later on in the finals, there was only little power in the tank and I ended up on 70th place but no need to worry, because I had already gained my personal success for this day and proved myself that I`m still in the game. Still lovin’ racing!
On the 5th of August it was time again for racing. This time 8Bar bikes has invited to a brilliant criterium race. The race mode was classic – in several qualification groups, the starting positions for the finals were entered. Women like men the same principle. Only the road bikes could fight directly for the medals. For the mood we held a joint team breakfast under our pavilion (thank you Erlkönig), we discussed critical places on the circuit and final race tactics.
I was in the first qualify with JoJo. 25 riders should slip right into the final, the ones who couldn’t make it, got there chance in the Last Chance race. And ZACK! It went on, 10 laps, almost 40 people and all with the goal to get a good place. In spite of the high qualification rate, the racers went directly crazy. Round 5 I have also pressed on the tube, to see what is possible today. The course was really funny to me, but I had to regulate myself then because it was only real in the final. So I just rolled through to the end.
My starting grid was clear – 31. 85 starters – my goal – Top 20. Until the fixed final started, the road bike race, the Last Chance race and the womens final took place. Rolle finished in a very strong 5th place with his road bike. Stefan was able to win the Last Chance race in the end with a perfect tactical performance. So we all slipped into the final and could enjoy another race. Now the womens final started – Silja shows itself aggressively and was rewarded for her attacks with two awards and the 8th place.
Now its our turn. After the start I focused directly my eyes on JoJo`s rear wheel, which is supposed to pull me forward – that was the plan and the legs twitched with full anticipation. I felt safe – the course is mine. But before it came at all to chase, I slipped twice at the pedals. I felt like the racers rushed through me.
Bad luck, now I had to put it all in to keep the wheel. In the front was a high pace. It took me 5 laps until I arrived at the front of the seccond group. I tried to motivate the people directly to bridge to the first group. The support was limited. So I gave it alone for 3 laps to reach the leading group again. But I had to adjust my pace and stay with the group when I wanted to get through and focused my goal again – not to be overlapped. Our group now ran their own race. Despite the down-screwed goals, it started to be fun again. Max, Paul, Axel and I changed well and kept up the pace, so it sometimes seemed to me that we would get back. But it was only the rats tail of the leadership group that drew long. It was also fighting – the escape from the overlap. For a long time I needed to digest the first force-intensive racing phase. During the race I saw that Jojo was at the top, I cheered to him and was pushed of him. At the end, I took on more responsibility for the pace, it became tighter. A great race full of adrenaline, fun and excitement. Place 21 at the end. I was satisfied. Full of euphoria, we enjoyed the victories. Thanks to all involved and the whole 8Bar crew for the crazy race.