The Rad Race Fixed 42 World Championships is a very special race indeed and I was lucky enough to get out there and make it the last race of the season. With the cancellation of the Berlin edition it definitely put a downer on my race season, but when Rad Race announced its return this time in Hamburg I knew I had to get out there and finish off the year with a bang. In cooperation with the Hamburg Cyclassics, the 42km closed road course was set to start on the outskirts of the city and finish in the heart, tackling some stinging climbs along the way.
Race Day: A 30-minute train journey sees us at the start line where riders gathered and prepped themselves for the fixed gear madness that was about to get underway. A fantastic vibe as standard from the German fixed gear event masters, it really is like no other race event I’ve been to. From the people, the music, the excitement and the organization it’s a reminder that the fixed gear scene really is something special.
With 30 minutes to the start, I hop onto the rollers supplied by the Rad Race crew and get the legs ready for some serious punishment.
Surprisingly, I felt kind of comfortable at the start line and knew I had a good shot of finishing in a solid position. Knowing that allowed me to purely focus on the race and not get distracted, or maybe it was the fact it was the last race of my fixed gear season haha!
3, 2, 1, GO!
One right hander and straight away we’re on the smooth tarmac of the autobahn, the pace was set immediately, and the pack separated within minutes. 8BAR rider Nico Heblich makes a move almost instantly with hope to solo victory like he did last year.
Attacks were made and everyone tried to get a piece of the action at the front including myself, but the big German power-house Stefan Schaefer closed every single gap with ease.
As the autobahn came to an end we hurled into a sharp left hander and onto beautiful long smooth German country roads that continued for over 10k. There was no slowing down as riders tried to attack, but would eventually get swallowed back up within minutes, it almost felt as the pace got progressively quicker. It was an impressive run for Nico Heblich but we eventually caught him.
Dig after dig we finally reach the first bit of elevation, gear ratios were crucial and the winning move could be made. With one rider already way up the road, no one really seemed to bothered or tried to push up the ascent. I acted quickly and attacked as hard as I could without looking back and eventually caught the lonesome rider. My legs felt heavy and I started to feel dizzy, I kind of wish I hadn’t attacked to be honest haha.
As we storm through neighbourhoods together, families stood on the side of the roads hitting pans and cheering us on.
We eventually got caught by the chasing group which was a relief. With around 10k to the finish, riders at the front really started to put the pressure on and make sure their top riders were looked after.
Unfortunately I started to fall into a bad place mentally and physically and just couldn’t push myself any further so I decided to fall back and finish solo. I pushed myself as hard as I could throughout the race and felt like I did enough to end the season on a high.
After crossing the line, it was a huge relief to be done with season and have a cold beer in hand. Looking back we’ve had a fantastic year and some incredible memories, a huge thanks to Paria for helping us along the way and keeping us kitted out.