Pros, former pros, and Olympic champions try their luck in the Red Hook Crit series. Not only on the course does the number of UCI pro riders grow, big names were present in the crowd as well. Cyclists like five-time Grand Tour podium finisher Joaqium ‘Purito’ Rodríguez, Tour of California winner George Bennet and top-10 Tour de France finisher Laurens ten Dam. Fixedgearcrit.com talked to Laurens ten Dam to find out what a Pro-Tour rider thinks about his fixed gear colleagues.
Text: Date Burgerjon
“I know the Red Hook races for quite some time now. I used to do track racing when I was about 15 years old, and Stefan Vis (former Dutch sprint selection track and winner of RHC Barcelona No.1, ed.) was racing there as well. I always kept track on how he was doing,” Ten Dam explains on how he got to know the sport. “Eamon Lucas is a friend of mine. We used to train together when I was in California. I had no race this weekend, so me and my wife came to support him.”
Asked how he would do: “They go even faster than I imagined (…) I think climbers like George Bennet and I wouldn’t be in the front if we participated (…) the constant accelerating out of the corners would be too much. Look at Eamon: he’s a beast.”
Ten Dam sometimes talks about fixed gear racing with his teammates, but they don’t seem to get it. “Ramon Sinkeldam and I will soon do a race together. It’s a three-hour car ride, so I promised to explain it to him then; about the qualifications and the super pole.”
Does the Giant Sunweb rider see fixed gear crit racing as a true part of the cycling sport? “Yes, definitely. And this format is perfect. A pro-criterium lasts for two hours. That’s way too long. This is exciting from start to finish and after 40 minutes it’s done. I really like it.”
Is Ten Dam ever going to race a Red Hook Crit? “I have a Giant track bike, so I might try a NL Crit Series in the near future and see how it goes. Unfortunately the next one, 17 September, comes too quick.”