RED HOOK — The Red Hook Criterium, a high-intensity urban bike race, is speeding back to Brooklyn for round two of the championship series.
The race, scheduled for June 8 at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, will bring track specialists, bike messengers, professional road racers, urban cyclists and athletes to compete on a short, technically-challenging course.
While the series is also hosted in Barcelona and Milan, this is the first time the race will be held in the United States outside Red Hook.
For David Trimble, who started the race in 2008, hosting “the crit” at the Navy Yard is a dream come true, he said.
Other than Red Hook, “I don’t know anywhere else in the city that would work for this,” said Trimble, adding that he hopes the race will become a fixture at the Yard.
This is the first sporting event for the industrial park and one of their largest undertakings so far, said Aisha Glover, vice-president of external affairs for the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation, who operates the Yard.
It will also give riders and spectators a chance to explore the space and check out BLDG 92, their visitor’s center on the Navy Yard’s past, present and future, she said.
But the second round of the four-race series will be even more challenging that its predecessor, said Trimble.
While anyone can participate in the race, the top 25 riders from the first round are expected to compete for the title, bringing them closer to the championship.
The traditionally nighttime race will begin at 9:45 p.m., as riders speed through a narrow course of 26 laps at 1.25-kilometers each, averaging speeds of 28 to 29 miles per hour.
A 5-kilometer footrace will be held before the crit at 9 p.m., a race that brings together world-class athletes, said Trimble.
“It’s one of the fastest and deepest 5K [races] in New York City,” he said.
As bikers charge through the Brooklyn Navy Yard’s maritime setting, surrounded by ships, cranes, old and new architecture, the course will be especially exciting for spectators, said Trimble.
“It’s a more dynamic race to watch,” he said.
Two-time Red Hook Crit Champion Neil Bezdek, who also won the first race in March, is expecting a narrow, technical race this weekend. He hopes the series and the venue will draw in the masses.
“[They] add to the energy,” he said. “I love racing for a crowd.”
For more information on the series, visit this website.