Fixed Gear Crit

Colin Strickland “I was convinced that Tristan was going to beat me in Barcelona.”

Colin Strickland ruled last year’s Red Hook Crit Series with 3 wins out of 4 races. If this is not impressive enough, he also won the last Red Hook Crit of the 2015 series, Milano No.6, making him, up to Milano no.7, the last winner of all latest RHC crits. Colin is born and raised in Austin Texas, the birth ground of many RHC stars, his roomy is 2016 RHC Women Series winner Ash Duban and some competition comes close as Tristan Uhl is also from the same disctrict. During Colin’s study at the University of Texas he came in touch with cycling. However, the fixedgear bike was only used for commute purposes. He actually only bought a bike because “I would rather have a nice bike than a crappy car as I couldn’t afford a nice one at the time”. Once Colin graduated and started his career as an environmental consultant, he got into racing. Currently, Colin is focussing on finishing his house which he bought two years ago, this also enables him to have more time for cycling resulting in an increased training regime in comparison with last season. For the 2017 season he set up a new team Intelligentsia Racing wherein he will get support from Marius Petrache and Stefan Rothe.

Text: Brian Megens
Photography: Tornanti CC

Tristan Uhl RHC BCN4

Colin never raced in the junior categories and only started racing competitively when he was 23 when taking part in an alley cat race. Last season, Colin rode his fixedgear races for Allez Allez-Specialized and his geared races for Team Elbowz racing, a national elite team owned by former MotoGP rider Ben Spies. When asked about his favourite race of 2016 he immediately answers, “Barcelona was the best, I loved the circuit … and the race itself. I was actually controlling the race in those last laps for Aldo as it looked to come down to a bunch sprint, but I saw an opportunity and took it. However, when Tristan closed the gap…I mean he closed the 7-8 second gap in no time … I thought it was game-over. Especially because I know Tristan from racing crits in Texas and he always beats me in those sprints, plus he has amazing bike handling skills and is just so snappy and fast. I think he needs a bit more experience racing these bikes, but when he has that he will have great wins for sure.”

Aldo & Colin

A great help last season came from his former teammate, the Slovenian powerhouse Aldo Ino Ilesic, a former UCI pro-continental road cyclist. Together they controlled most RHC races and claimed 1st and 2nd place in the overall series, even winning the team GC with only 2 riders when actually the first 3 riders of each team take points. “Aldo was great, I mean his experience … like we never really had to talk tactics, we just knew what to do without talking much. We just had a perfect season, it will be more challenging to take more wins next year.”

Although Colin dominated the last series, he increased his preparations for this year as he is taking time off from his job to focus on finishing the house, but more importantly, to have more time for traveling, bike racing and training. “I am a racer you know… so I hate off-season as it is hard for me to stay disciplined without any races, but I am doing more group rides now to make my hours on the bike.” With more hours in the saddle Colin is also hoping to do well in the geared road races. Another goal is to stay in Europe between Red Hooks to compete in “the smaller fixed gear races, for example Dijón” which was won last year by fellow countryman David Santos. “I just want to help those smaller races, they’re putting in so much effort to make something from fixedgear racing and I want to support them where I can.”

Colin Strickland GC Winner RHC