By Nick Bull
North Greenwich will follow in the footsteps of Brooklyn, Milan and Barcelona when it hosts the first British round of the high-adrenaline Red Hook Criterium series on Saturday evening.
Organisers proclaim the event to be the “world’s premier track bike crit”, with all riders required to compete on fixed gear bikes without brakes.
The first Red Hook Crit took place in Brooklyn in 2008, and comprised a small number of participants competing on open roads. The series has since expanded to Europe, while its flagship event now takes place on a traffic-free circuit.
Saturday’s action begins at 1pm, as riders seek to qualify for the evening’s headline event.
The criterium racing begins at 5.30pm, and given the type of bikes competitors are using, this is where the thrills and dramatic spills are likely to happen.
Don't expect any big-name professionals among the startlist: organisers say the 200 men's places - that sold out in 10 minutes - include the likes of everyone from "weekend warriors and bike messengers to hardcore urban commuters, [who] need to possess street-tuned handling skills and exceptionally high levels of physical fitness to compete for a place on the podium."
Visit www.redhookcrit.com for more information.
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