Herne Hill Velodrome's Velofete - Fixed Gear Crit

June 19, 2019

 

The first ever fixed gear criterium at the iconic Herne Hill Velodrome was a wet one, very wet. The race lit up right from the off with an early solo attack with the bunch remaining  as calm as can be expected with your legs spinning at 130rpm as he was brought back. A few slip outs, which in all probability would have happened in the dry too. Splits emerged, groups of 2's and 3's formed and eventually a break of 2 was established "keep it going, they'll crack and give us the gap" was shouted as they hung tentatively off the front for a couple of laps until the words of experience rang true and they were away. A peloton of about 8 formed with others scattered throughout the course. A couple more slip outs and more rain which varied from moderate to biblical, changing every 30 seconds or so. I braved it, camera in hand to bring you these shots though (comments of appreciation to be posted below...). The race was settled, a battle of the break for 1st and 2nd and then 3rd to be fought for from the bunch. A half attack from one of the leading two within the final 2 laps but shut down after the pair had worked so well together for nearly half the race. Both riders negotiated the final corner, the quarter lap sprint opened up and was close with Owen Blandy edging it out for the win. The remainder of the bunch behind split up in the final few laps with 3rd and 4th coming round the second to last corner together with one of them flying into the barrier having apparently been nudged off by Elliot Phillips who then came off on the final corner but got back up to take 3rd.