The Red Bull minidrome race on 23rd of April 2013 in Milan with Toms Albergs, Charlie O’concorde, Guirec Moisan, Edgars Aizbalts and Hristina Satalova.
WORLD’S FASTEST AND SMALLEST CYCLE RACE – RED BULL MINIDROME!
A South London team scored highly in an extreme cycling challenge series, the Red Bull mini-drome event in Milan, Italy, on 23 November. Cyclist Edgars Aizbalts, sponsored by Bermondsey-based Druid Cycles, came fourth against a field of 106 competitors, including world champions.
Mini-drome is a fast-growing sport for the soaring numbers of lovers of “fixis”, cycles with pedals which cannot move independently of the rear wheel and which have no brakes. It is raced on a portable lap track that is steeply angled and only 25 metres around, one tenth of a traditional velodrome. Reportedly the smallest and fastest cycle race, each race of ten laps takes some 35 seconds, and crashes of falling off the track are common.
Aizbalts is a 28-year-old book-keeper originally from Latvia. He has raced this year in mini-drome events in Edinburgh, Copenhagen, Paris and other places. Bikes have to be built to withstand the extra shocks of racing such a tight corners.
“I enjoy it, it’s fun” says Aizbalts, “you can get up to 40 km/hour and it’s important to get your line right all the time”. He trains regularly on London streets and particularly at the Herne Hill velodrome, a key space for London’s upcoming cycle racers.
Winner at Spazio Sarpi Sei in Milan was Toms Alsbergs, who has won seven editions of the Red Bull mini-drome. Latvia has an advantage in mini-drome as there is a permanent course built in Riga and teams such as the TrueFix crew and girl team She Fix crew [www.shefix.org] dominate many events, often beating men. Second and third places went to O’Conord Charlie and Guirec Moisan of IBIKE in Canada, while Hristina Satalova as top woman .
Alsbergs commented: “I was surprised at the Italian loud crowd, they were absolutely positive and friendly. I’m especially proud of Latvian girls from She Fix team. The five women competitors, all from Latvia, but I’m surprised there were no local girls among the competitors.
“It’s not as crazy as it looks like, it brings loads of fun, the whole competition concept is great, you get to meet so many amazing people, to live new experiences, get all pumped out and tired but the feeling of happiness always overmatches.”
Moisan added: “Milan was a beautiful race, a very nice atmosphere and very good riders, and a very beautiful city. I’d like to thank Red Bull and all the riders, I’ll be at the next mini-drome Red Bull at the beginning of the year in Denmark to represent the France and my team IBIKE.
Founder of Druid Cycles CIC Thorsten Bard said: “We like to sponsor sports cyclists from various backgrounds. I hope my next star will be a local cyclist”. Druid Cycles, near Tower Bridge builds custom and race bikes as well as doing a full range of repairs and seeking to work with local authorities and others to recycle abandoned cycles and many cycle parts. Bard is a recent convert to “fixi” cycling, and says it helps build extra leg power.
In Milan there were nearly 1,000 spectators. The day starts with time trials for all competitors. The fastest 32 then go for adrenaline-packed one-on-one “chase” races as they hunt each other down around the wooden circuit. Aizbalts said the track was slippery in Milan, but he hung on until the semi-final where he was beaten by Alsbergs.
For video of the Milan 2013 final, look here:
29 November 2013