It’s been already a couple of weeks since we attended the Catalan round of RED HOOK CRIT, a race that has grown rapidly and become probably the most referential in the fixed gear scene. What started being a spark in David Trimble’s head and firstly materialized into a clandestine little event, is now endorsed by Rockstar games and has gained massive repercussion and a completely professional scent.
All pretensions have been overpassed, cyclists from all over the world coming from very different backgrounds and reunited in numerous teams participate in this alternative and visually the most exciting possible race. High performance sport meets urban culture, fashion and aesthetics bringing grateful audience from very different fields, too.
There is much more to say and see, though, specially from our female point of view. ITCHY interviewed and met the five women racing among over 150 boys. This is their word, and an extension of it from what we saw and felt during a wonderful, hectic and moody weathered day.
The Passatge de Bocabella, street where sits the DOSNOVENTA Headquarters, has become a pilgrimage spot for cyclists living or travelling in Barcelona. During the pre race night, the shop, that also hosted some of the american riders that slept and lived there training and hanging before the Crit, gathered happy cyclists or cycling lovers that shared impressions, and had the opportunity to chat and have a drink in a beautiful and fresh ambience.
Connor P. McKenzie (photographer) and Derek Holland (rider x Kitsune Collective) from Australia
The Cinelli x RED HOOK CRIT Barcelona prize bike, in the colors of the Catalan flag or “Senyera”
Photographer & ITCHY friend Álvaro Valdecantos
There we met Carla Nafria, splendid rider of the Fixedland team (Madrid), and Lina Bo, designer from Moscow and passionate rider that travelled to attend the event on her beautiful Samson track that was hit by a car just a couple of days ago back in Russia. Here she is trackstanding for ITCHY! (Get well soon!)
Lina Bo, ITCHY friend from Russia
The day after woke up grey and glaring. By the look of it, as hours passed, rain was announced more and more clearly. Exciting and scary. We grabbed some gear and headed to el Parc del Fòrum, a stunning flat and open spot by the sea that every year also hosts the Primavera Sound music festival. The production of the event was of the highest level. The organization was neat and charming, and David Trimble himself, contacted us a few times with the names and contact details of the girls enrolled to make it easier for us to reach them and set up a little interview, which is super appreciated. Thanks!
Zach Morvant & Fabian Vázquez x Wolfpack Hustle / Aventon on their way to el Parc del Fòrum (spotted on Gran Via Barcelona)
As soon as we put a foot on the course area we came across with Mianzi Rei, representing Aurora Collective and author of the blog Optimus Fixed. It was sweet to meet this Berliner and her celeb tattoo. She wasn’t competing this time nor bringing her track racing bike with drops, but came relaxed to enjoy the Crit and pedal chilling around Barcelona’s baywalk. In conversation with her we both came to the conclusion that there needs to be a girl oriented crit, where qualification marks aren’t as high and difficult to reach for women riders. As we’ll read later, all the women interviewed, although they find it challenging to ride with guys, think pretty much the same.
As the qualification rounds were advancing, we realized something sad but also expectable, only one of the 5 girls that signed up for the race had qualified. RED HOOK CRIT has become a very serious race with highly competitive riders in almost olympic shape. In this context, while the last qualification round was being ridden, we spoke to three of the girl riders and one friend of theirs. Here’s what they said:
Annamaria Teremi, Marie-Louise Truong, Claudia Weiss and Carelain Bergtop
Annamaria Teremi is Hungarian and lives in Amsterdam, where she is part of the all girl fixed gear collective F.A.S.T Cats. She enrolled in the race after racing fixed gear alleycats for 6 months and having been on a fixed gear bike non stop for almost 2 years. She’s always ridden the same bike, an Orbea Dude A 20, and a 47/15 ratio. Riding fixed has become a lifestyle for her and helped her find new friends that share the same addiction for cycling. Annamaria finds problematic the fact that is so difficult for girls to qualify for such a physically demanding Crit. She suggests a split crit just for girls and thinks that this way probably many more girls would enroll, who are surely craving to race!
What Annamaria enjoyed the most of the race was the adrenaline and challenging side of it, but also made her realize that more than a sprinter, she is a long distance rider. She has already ridden Amsterdam to London and she’s planning to ride from Amsterdam to her hometown in Hungary! We would join her!
Marie Louise Truong has a big cheerful smile after finishing her qualification round. It’s her first time riding the RED HOOK but she’s been racing other crits for over a year. Marie rode a 50cm Aluminum EXS frame with carbon fork, ratio 46/17 (which she says was way too low for the race!) She’s 24, from LA but has been living in Paris for two years, where she’s a sweet pre-college teacher. She responds that Paris is a nice city for riding, smaller and cozier than the huge LA. She was straight-edge into fixed, but now she’s opened her mind to try CX, she says “it’s got two wheels so get your legs on it and enjoy”. Marie is also totally into the idea that there should be a mini crit or just a girl crit held as part of the RED HOOK CRIT, a women’s category so many more girls from all over would feel comfortable and courageous enough to start racing. Seems clear to her that there are more and more girls on fixed and interested on sprinting crits or alleycats. Marie Louise is planning to organize a crit in Paris next summer, so let’s all stay tuned!
Claudia Weiss is from St. Gallen (Switzerland), but currently living in Paris. For the Crit she rode her beautiful GOrilla Hattara. Claudia has been riding fixed for two years and it was also her first time racing the RHC. She’s sponsored by GOrilla cycles and she’s created her own rad brand of handmade cycling accessories, classy and women oriented: ABSOLUTE. Claudia was specially supportive and caring about the fact that women don’t have their own category for this kind of race. She wondered how many girls out there think of racing but get pushed back by the idea of so many professional male riders getting these incredible uneasily beatable qualification marks. She told us about her last long trip: From Paris to Lausanne FIXED! (500Km) IN 3 DAYS!
Claudia Weiss standing by her bike + cute baby girl
Carelain Bergtop didn’t race the Barcelona étape of the RHC but she will burn it in the next one in Milano! She adds that even though she thinks she doesn’t have any chances of passing the qualifications she’s doing ir for the girls!. She will ride a Brooklyn machineworks gangster track short. 48/15. It was great to meet another member and creator of F.A.S.T. Cats (which is a girl-only extension of F.A.S.T Amsterdam) who is also a great singer!.
Carelain, like Annamaria, is into long distance: these girls do 30 km to 60 k’s routes often. She speaks about their colleague Stefania Baldi, who we couldn’t meet because she was actually qualifying for the finals of the RHC, she was the only women that made it! Congratulations from here and wishing all of them the BEST in Milan!
Getting to have a chat with these women was incredibly lucky and inspiring. But I can’t pass without pointing out some other facts that completed an amazing experience, like meeting the new CINELLI MASH PARALLAX, which is, in my opinion, the best MASH design ever. Those minimalist zebras were amazing to see ridden by such a great team. The MASHSF zebras and the DOSNOVENTA tigers gave a nice savannah look to the race! Designers of the world… if you haven’t seen these, you’re definitely missing out.
Rainier Schaefer & Lee Walton x Team MASHSF
Rainier Schaefer from Team MASHSF
Kyle Murphy x MASHSF
Christopher Rabadi on her yellow Detroit 2 and Fernando Marcos x DOSNOVENTA
Derek Holland on his Cinelly Mash Histogram after the qualification round
A beautiful Nagasawa NJS
people’s trimmed & mediterranean tanned legs
Tommaso Nolli X IRIDE demode Squadra Corse
Enol Costales Cortina x Trimble racing on the beautiful Trimble carbon track and Marco Hita Crespo x Fixedland
Girl legs and her Bianchi super pista
Celeb pair of socks
Team Cinelli getting the bikes ready for the race during the qualification rounds
Congratulations to Stefan Vis from WIT Industries F.A.S.T. Amsterdam team for his victory and our best wishes to all the racers and attenders to the next round in Milan. Fun (and much more) is guaranteed!
PHOTOS: Virginia del Río / Néstor Sánchez