Race day, and everything was in place, except for Theo's thumb which had regrettably found itself in the gearing of a bike the night before. The day began in two different locations. One a social ride meeting in Parliament square and lead by Fraser. The other, the race team, slowly converging on Lee Valley Velopark. Both aiming to meet around midday, perfectly timed for Thundercrit or rather Thumbdercrit owing to Theo's injury.
The team arrived first and after a short wait began making their way into the race area for bike checks courtesy of Charlie. Done and dusted we looked around for a prime spot to set up camp. This year it was someones genius idea to allow the teams to locate themselves on the unused section of the road circuit. This gave each team heaps of room to relax and mingle with other riders and perhaps unintentionally allowed spectators to hang out with the teams and really taste the atmosphere.
The vibe was friendly with an almost festival feel, with lots of different crews all brought together by a common interest. In some ways it felt like the entire London scene was there, old and new, all enjoying the event in their own way. Some checking out the bikes and their riders, others vloging or capturing shots and some just hanging and enjoying a beer or two. And the weather was perfect, slowly turning into a beautiful sunset lit paradise as the evening drew in.
Race wise things went well although we were missing three riders. On the track for the men we had two pairs, Jewksy & Perry aiming for a good result in the B's while Dale and Theo were looking for glory in the men's A's. In the women's race we had a very ill Vroni, putting the bravest of brave faces on so as not to miss the days fun. And all largely went well, both pairs qualified for their desired men's finals with Vroni qualifying for the women's.
First of the finals was the Men's B, an intense 10 laps to find a winner. Sadly there were two crashes, the second on the last lap, which you can see in the video above. The onboard footage is from Fixed Beers rider Perry (footage - Melvin Cacho) and shows how narrowly Jewksy and others missed the fallen riders. Both were ok with one needing medical attention. Sam from Clash Racing took the win.
Next up was the Women's final a two in one race with the women's A and B racing at the same time, one after the other. Brilliantly Vroni took the Pizza Prime for Fixed Beers in the women's B and Nelsy Casallas took the win. In the women's A rising star Eeva Sarlin won with Love and Rockets team mate Brooke Philips taking third.
The men's A final went off without incident, with Dale and Theo putting in a strong performance, both working together to stay in the race. After 24 laps it wasn't entirely obvious who would emerge as victorious but then on the final straight it was clear Alec had done it again, crossing the line with his trade mark wheelie.
Prizes were awarded and soon it was time to hit the after party, cruising in convoy across London to Two Tribes Brewery.
It was without doubt a brilliant day of racing and perhaps the best crit that London has seen to date. Here's to Rob and the NLTCBMBC, cheers!
Want more? Check out the official Thundercrit 3 video by Calvin Cheng below.