Red Hook Crit Brooklyn no.11
Red Hook Crit Team iBike race report by Josh Gieni
Out of the 34 men registered for the RHC from Canada, 9 riders headed down to represent iBike in the Red Hook Crit Brooklyn no.11. Three of our riders had multiple RHC experiences (Nicolas Côté, Richard Bergeron and Josh Gieni), two riders raced the RHC Brooklyn no.10 (Thomas Baillergeron and Mathieu Lefebvre) and the four others were racing their first RHC ever (Matthieu Theriault, Benjamin Loslier, Samuel Taylor Gray and Nicolas Côté2). For Ben, Nic and Sam it was their first fixed crit ever! The biggest qualification achievement goes to Nicolas Côté2 (cause we have 2). It was his first fixed gear crit ever and he finished 13thin his heat qualifying him in the top 60 of the best fixed racers in the world. A huge feat for a rookie! Well done son. Thomas, MatthieuT, MathieuL, Sam, and Ben all fought hard and gained valuable race day experience. We are sure that you won’t only see 4 iBike riders in the men’s finals in 2019! They are hungry and already have the eyes on the prize. Nic1, Josh and Richard all raced smooth in qualies advancing themselves directly to finals in the top 60 with the best effort coming from Nic1 placing himself in the top 40!
We have no choice but to recap the special victory by Miss Raphaele Lemieux. She is an absolute boss and even though she came into the race as a marked rider, she walked away showing everyone that even with a mark on her back she can’t be followed! She started the day by smashing the women’s qualifications. Margaux of Santafixie / BLB was on a break going into the final lap where Raph said after the race: ‘nobody was chasing her so I decided to test my legs.’ Raph caught Margaux on the last lap and won the heat with at least 6 bike lengths. This was awesome but it was nothing compared to her performance in the finals. It was by far the best race I have ever had the pleasure to witness. The strategy, the tactics, the power and the smarts you could see unfold as the race developed was pro! The BLB team of Ainara Albusto and Margaux was aggressive. They threw out attack after attack. The peloton would close the gap and the other rider would then counter attack. It was a great display of a two person team tactics. Finally Margaux had an attack that stuck. With Ainera in the peloton waiting for the rest to close the gap, the peloton hesitated and let the attack stick. However, when Ainera went down in a crash Raph took it upon her to power the pack and bridge the gap. Once she closed the gap, Esther from Aventon lanced another counter attack. She was able to make some space on the peloton while Raph took a rest. Raph then, once again, took it upon herself to bridge. It took her a few hards laps to close but she was able to do so with two laps to go. Would she have enough left in the tank to take the final sprint? We all know the answer to that now but we were nervous. She once again won the final sprint without another woman in sight. What an athlete! She proved that she is the women to watch for the 2018 series. However, if Ainera wouldn’t have went down, how would have things developed? The women’s racing was amazing to watch. To the women warriors of RHC, we applaud you for taking your place and putting on the show of the day!
The men’s race was full gas from the start. A blistering pace that blew up the peloton and left only half the field to finish the race. The lead peloton was no more than about 35 riders and only one chase peloton remained at the end. Nic2 and Josh put down as much power repeats as possible before finally being lapped around the half way point leaving them to finish 83rdand 88th. They finished half the race and we are proud of their accomplishments. Richard hung on to the lead peloton for the majority of the race only getting dropped with a few laps to go. He settled into the chase peloton and finished the race in 51stposition. Good enough for 3rdbest Canadian result behind Remi and Nic1. Valuable points towards the Fixed Nations Cup were gained!
Last but not least is Nicolas Côté1. What a performance by Nic. He started in 40th position and finished the race in 28th. Incredible. The list of big names that were behind him is deep. This was his 4th RHC start and he has proved to have the legs to ride next to some of the fastest men in the world. Despite the blistering pace, Nic was able to hold a position of 15th to 30th the whole race. His fixed future is bright!
A big thanks to Mr. Trimble and his RHC team for bringing this race to a world class level.
Next race is in Tremblent on the evening of Friday, May 25th. Will you be there to watch the drama unfold?