Thursday, June 11, 2009
For the third year running Rapha put on a spectacular evening of bike racing right in the heart of London. And this year, despite dire predictions, it stayed dry. The racing was exciting in all the events, but the Elite race took the biscuit - it was wall-to-wall action from the gun. Unfortunately, my crappy Holga couldn't really cope with the dark so my shots of that race are dire, but the Holga captured the support races pretty nicely in my opnion. There's more of my photos here.
It's totally understandable why this kind of racing has grown so massively over the last few years. As a country we are poorly equipped to deal with traditional road racing, but shutting a couple streets for an afternoon? Well, that could be an option, if you pay the right price. Plus there's the entertainment value. Without TV coverage road racing is not a spectator sport. Crit racing on the other hand, is very exciting, as I'm sure the 10,000 people that flocked to Farringdon on Saturday will testify. An hour long race is fairly straightforward to train and recover for, so the riders can race every couple of days which - hopefully - earns them a decent living. It also allows TV to create a bit of a following. When a sport only shows up on our screens every few months, you forget who the main protagonists are. When it's on every week, you learn a bit about the riders and the spectators actually begin to "care" - not something that I can recall really happening with cycling and cyclists in the UK before.
It's still not as good as cyclocross, but in my opinion, it's the next best thing.
Posted by Andy Waterman at 7:07 AM