The only rider representing the 8bar Team in Red Hook Criterium Brooklyn No.10 was David van Eerd. With a 5th place he proved again that he is knocking on the door to get his first Red Hook Crit podium. For Red Hook Criterium London No.3 it is expected that the 8bar team will have more riders battling in the front. For example, Tim Ceresa is back from his ski holidays and showed his good form by winning La Petite Course last weekend. Another highly interesting rider, and new 8bar team member, is Nico Hesslich a world-class six-day track cyclist who showed his strength in the Rad Race Fixed42 as he was riding in front and ripping up the field constantly. Nico is 26 years old and originally from Cottbus, Germany. He started track cycling in 2008 and trains often with Specialized-Rocket Espresso cyclist Stefan Schafer. We spoke briefly with Nico on how he got into cycling, his expectations for Red Hook Crit London No.3, and his thoughts on the sport in general.
Text: Brian Megens
Photography: Stefan Haehnel
Nico sees his best German Team of SixDay Series 2017 as German Champion as his best performance on the track so far. However, is goals on the track are still big as he wants to “be part of the Olympic Games”.
Only recently Nico decided to try fixed gear crit racing, “because I visited Rad Race ‘Last Man Standing 2017’ and the Fixed42 is just an hour away from my home, and my trainings mate Stefan Schäfer told me this was his first fixed gear race … there are no hard corners so I tried and loved it”
With a successful debut in fixed gear racing in the Fixed42 Nico will now enter the Red Hook Crit competition. “I do train with my track bike on the road for years, so pushing a fixed gear bike on the roads is not new for me, but cornering with 60 other high motivated riders will be a new expression. I really prefer to follow and chat with all bike lovers. The fixed gear Crit scene is really nice and unique, and I’m looking forward to be part of it in London.”
Although Nico is a world-class cyclist who showed the fixed gear peloton how strong he is, his expectations are very humble. “Enjoying the time and not crashing.” However, when asked about his thoughts for the sport he is more outspoken. “In my opinion the potential is as big as Pro Tour cycling – because the spectators and fans are able to cheer the race and enjoy the event for free and the five facts speak for themselves:
1. Red Hook Crits are entertaining
2. Cycling as Entertainment is a novel idea and but it shouldn’t be: Outside of cycling, fans of racing sports (in a general sense) like the culmination and cocktail of drinking, bright lights, carnage, exhibitions of speed, impossible physical feats, jock jams, TV cameras, cornering, alcohol, food, crazy outfits, luck, chaos, skill, heroes, villains and rock stars.
3. Most cycling events are designed, presented and “covered” such that they’re ONLY interesting if you’re a cyclist. And even then, only just barely.
4. None of the millions of people who follow NASCAR actually race cars, for all intents and purposes. None of them. Cycling doesn’t get that, Cycling needs to get that.
5. You don’t need to know shit about bikes to enjoy a Red Hook Crit AND you can host a event everywhere, you do not necessary need a velodrome