You might have heard from the new cycling event ‘Car Park Cannon Ball’ which takes place as the name suggests in a car park. The event is organized by à BLOC Beer in collaboration with Team Katusha Alpecin and NL Crit Series. We spoke to Daan van Well, the Directeur Sportif from the beer brand à Bloc, to find out what the event is all about.
“The Car Park Cannon Ball is a new and out-of-the-ordinary series of urban cycling events. Riders will be racing up all levels of a carpark. Once they cross the finish line on the top floor, the party starts with live DJ, craft beer and street food. Participants will be racing in different categories: geared and fixed gear, men and women. There’s a 90-minute qualification session first (multiple attempts allowed), and separate shoot-out finals determine the Car Park Cannon Ball Kings and Queens. Riders can challenge pro riders Maurits Lammerink and Marco Mathis of Team Katusha Alpecin and the best fixed gear riders in the NL crit en Red Hook crit series!” The event in a couple of sentences according to Daan.
Regarding the circuit in Eindhoven “The Eindhoven track is a super short, fast and furious. We start with a 30m +10% ramp, followed by a 440m track (avg gradient 3.7%) with only 4 corners. Just to get ready for the heavy duty circuit in Maastricht!”
Why did you involve fixed gear racing in the event?
We want to make the cycling experience not only attractive for the riders but also accessible and entertaining for the fans. Most of us live in town and we want to bring the racing action closer to our homes. Fixed gear racing does exactly that and we feel this is a concept that has a great future. With Car Park Cannon Ball we wanted to make it even more accessible and also mingle the fixed gear with the more traditional “geared” riders and introduce them to the beauty of fixed gear racing too.
What is you opinion on fixed gear crit racing in general and how do you see fixed gear crit racing in cycling as a whole?
It’s fast, it’s spectacular, it’s tough, it’s tactical, it’s technical. So it has all ingredients that make cycling heroic. Yet it’s short and constantly entertaining for spectators. Fixed gear crit racing is a true and integral part of the cycling sport, and it has a vibrant, urban sub-culture. But it’s also part of a lifestyle that all of us, cyclists, recognize and live on a daily basis. So the experience, both as a rider and as a spectator, close to us and it’s easy to engage in the action of the moment. We feel that that fixed gear crit racing has a very bright future in cycling. And while we honor the past, we also embrace the future!
About à Bloc, the beer company behind the series, Daan adds “à BLOC is more than just a beer. The goal of à BLOC is to unite cyclists around the world and celebrate the beauty of cycling. We believe that performances and challenging each other are some of life’s greatest experiences. We ride hard, but we wait on the top of the climb to return together. So we can share our stories in good company. And with a great beer! With the Car Park Cannon Ball series, we’ve created a spectacular yet accessible cycling experience, combining bicycle racing in a closed down down-town car park, in a fun party atmosphere with live DJ, craft beer and street food. The racers are centrepiece of a great night out, but it’s hard to tell who is enjoying the effort more, the riders or the spectators!”
Other events and future ambitions?
In 2017: we have Maastricht (NL) on the agenda on 21 October (MECC Parking – during Euro Cycle XP), and Christchurch (NZ) on 26 November Christchurch (NZ) (check out the schedule at www.carparkcannonball.cc)
and for 2018 we have Canberra (Australia), Amsterdam, London, Girona and Brussels that we’re adding to the list. And we’ll be back in Eindhoven and Maastricht of course!
Other info people should know?
- Bring friends and family and show them what racing is all about in a very entertaining setting. Make sure they register as guest so they can win à BLOC Beer and Katusha gear!
- We’ll have 2 world tour pros (Maurits Lammertink and Marco Mathis) amongst us and some of the best fixed gear riders registered
- Bring some warm clothes for the afterparty!