Last year, La Petite Course was one of the new comers to the crit calendar. It made such a good impression to so many, that the 2017 edition proves to be a must visit crit for a lot of crit riders this year. The formula of La Petite Course looks simple on paper, a combination of serious racing with a laid back atmosphere, but finding the exact balance between the two is always hard to achieve. However, La Petite Course succeeded already in finding this balance in their first edition and with it, it seems like the event, which takes place in the city center of Paris, is in it for the long-run. The date for the 2017 edition is July 8, two weekends before Red Hook Crit London No.3. We spoke with photographer, art-director, and co-organiser of the event Caro Paulette about the 2016 edition and what we can expect for the upcoming crit!
Text: Brian Megens
Photography: Caro Paulette
Caro had hoped to have the event a week before RHC London, but Quatorze Juillet, a bank holiday celebrating the day of the French Revolution, made it better to have the crit 2 weeks prior to RHC London. La Petite Course, as the name indicates, is raced on a very narrow and small course. With 8 corners in 600m, it is one of the most technical crits out there. “The race was founded when two friends, Laurent Belando and Renald Prevost, had the idea to create a fixed gear crit in Paris. They teamed up with various people from the cycling scene in Paris with all different backgrounds and strengths. The cool thing was that we weren’t just asked to help out but we were asked to really become part of the core organiszing team with each of us having our own responsibilities and tasks we need to take care of.”
Caro on the goals of the crit “La Petite Course aims at creating an all-inclusive event where everyone has the opportunity to race and improve their skills. We know that nothing beats the big RHC crit, so we try to come up with something slightly different, a friendly, relaxed atmosphere where racing is still very serious but everyone will have a lot of race time on the bike. This is because of our qualification system which was an idea of Laurent, who has a background in surfing and this is a similar system as used in that sport.” In fact, La Petite Course was one of the first crits wherein people had to qualify for the finals through heat racing, something that now has been adopted by Red Hook Crit too. In 2016, it was Fleure Faure, and Felix Lhenry that took home the victory. Full results can be found in our result database here.
For the 2017 edition the safety will be improved with better barriers, cushions, and more experienced track marshals. Furthermore, the organisation hopes to attract both international fixed gear crit riders as the local fixed gear community of Paris to bring people with a passion for fixed gear bikes together and have an awesome time while maintaining the serious race character of the event. As soon as the registration opens we will update you!