Toshifumi Kodama went to Red Hook Criterium Brooklyn No.10 where he got inspired to bring fixed gear crit racing to Japan. After a first trial a couple months ago, the sfiDARE Crit was held last Saturday in Central Japan, and also was the island’s first official open Fixed Gear Crit (a.k.a. Pisto Criterium). The sfiDARE Crit was a 1.1km track on the Hirata riverbank of Kaizu-shi, featuring a technical narrow section of woods and a wide windy backstraight. The race attracted more than 25 riders in total, from track enthusiast, road racers, bike messenger and even para-athletes (Keiichi Sato). Races were separated into two divisions: Beginner class & Unlimited class (Elite).
Text by Jasmin Ten Have
Photos by Yoshihide Maekawa (Kikuzo Photos)
To ensure proper safety and progress of the riders, beginner racers were separated into 2 heats of 6 riders on a paced 6 laps course. In a Keirin-like fashion, riders were paced carefully for 4 laps by Kodama-san himself, then launched into 2 laps of hot racing. The top 3 of each heat passed into the fast final, and the bottom 3 going into the slower final.
Overall, riders from different backgrounds and levels, but without experience in fixed gear crit specifically, were able to gain confidence in the sport over 2 races and hopefully will join the Unlimited race for the next edition
- Taichi Iseki
- Rafaёl Salles
- Kenji Yamagiwa
sfiDARE Crit – Unlimited Class
For the elite format, riders had to qualify through a 1km TT on the race course. Toshifumi Kodama (Sfidare works / Affinity Cycles) clocked a convincing 1:49:61 on a windy and wet course to get the first grid position 2.7 seconds faster than its closest competitor. For the main race (15 laps), the fastest qualifier pushed the pace from the gun to get the Holeshot prime, only to get passed by Jasmin Ten Have countering his early attack right before the line.
Toshifumi Kodama kept the aggression going to eventually get a gap by lap 4, a gap that would grow and be maintained between 17s and 22s throughout the race which would give the Professional Keirin racer, and ex-All-Japan track champion, the mid-race prime and the race win. Back in the hard working chase group, Hiroyuki Hori detached himself with 500m to go on the last lap to grab 2nd place with 9.2sec behind the winner, with Jasmin Ten Have sprinting for 3rd position
1- Toshifumi Kodama (Sfidare works / Affinity Cycles)
2- Hiroyuki Hori (Balba Cycle Racing Team)
3- Jasmin Ten Have (Team iBike / GSAstuto wheels)
Holeshot prime: Jasmin Ten Have
Mid-race prime: Toshifumi Kodama