The National Moutarde Crit in Dijon started as a crazy idea among friends after some beers in 2012. Over the years it grew into one of the biggest non-RHC fixed gear crits in Europe. In 2012 they had 80 athletes, but in the next editions this quickly increased to over 200 riders participating in the crit. We had a talk with Maxime Poisson, the owner of Sportunit and organiser of the National Moutarde Crit, about the 2017 edition.
Text: Brian Megens
Header Image: David Bussidan
Maxime, who also organises the Tourn’Us crit, immediately stresses that the NMC is not a one-man-show, “The crit is organised in cooperation with the Dijon Mustard Crew and I am very proud to have 50 volunteers who are so motivated, bring energy to the race, and are always there for the riders. They are not just volunteers but are really part of the core team that is responsible for organising an amazing weekend for everyone participating.”
With more and more crits being organised the fixed gear crit community is getting bigger. “The community in France is really close. Although the cities are quite far apart we always try to visit each others events.”
NMC no.4, the 2016 edition, was successful with a lot of international riders wherein David Santos and Eleonore Saraiva took the win. For the 2017 edition, Maxime is very clear on what the crit should become “I want to make NMC future proof, but maintaining the NMC spirit. One thing we will do is a doping test as we want to make sure that the NMC winner is also the ‘true winner. We are also going to inform the riders on insurance as we have a lot of foreign riders and we want to make sure that they are safe in the case they do crash. We need to make the crit future proof as fixed gear crit racing is evolving quickly and I really believe that it can become a new sport within cycling.”
NMC 5 will be a whole weekend of racing with the main event, the crit, taking place on Saturday and the omnium the day after, of course a good pre and after party are also scheduled. The major changes involve mainly the racing format. Alike Red Hook Crit, NMC is also getting rid off the hot-lap system and replaces it by an individual TT from which everyone will be divided into 5 heats. This change gives everyone a chance to compete and race in the main event. Another change is the finals, instead of an A and B final, a super-final will be added wherein the best 50 riders, the top 10 of every heat, will start. At the time of the interview Maxime had no details about the new circuit but it will be a complete change in comparison to last year. “It will be more technical with some hairpins, and we want to create a stadium feeling by building a stand for the crowd.”
The crit is taking place on September 9 in Dijon, France. Registration is likely to open in early July. Soon NMC will publish more info on the circuit. We will keep you updated! Also, an interview with NMC no.4 winner David Santos will be published soon.