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Huez* Guides: RAD RACE

‘We want to stop riding lame bike events’

If our article on MAMILS a few weeks back led you to believe that cycling is becoming a middle aged pursuit, then we urge you to take a trip to Germany, stop off at a RAD RACE and see for yourself how far this is from the truth. Huez* did just that at the Berlin Fahrradshau in March, and we couldn’t be any more sold.

Created to combine the endurance of road racing with the intensity of alley sprints, RAD RACE events push entrants to their physical limits. Held throughout the summer in various German cities (with a stop in Rotterdam for good measure), a RAD Race is to your Sunday afternoon cycle what bare-knuckle boxing is to a playground punch up. With stages titled ‘Battle’ and ‘Last Man Standing’, the now annual series gestures a refreshingly gritty take on urban riding.

Beginning as an unsanctioned head-to-head interpretation of the classic criterium, RAD Races are now ascending mountains and bursting down empty marathon routes. Bringing together track stars, couriers, urban specialists and road racers, the series has carved itself a niche as one of the most compelling events going since launching in 2014. Best of all, the race series has a major focus on combating racism in all its forms, a cause we are proud to support at Huez*.

Sound interesting? We thought so, so here’s a quick guide to RAD RACE signature events to get your wheels turning.

RAD RACE Crit

With most RAD RACE events loosely based on the ‘criterium’, navigating at speed is the deciding factor on super technical chicanes and hairpins. Add fixed, brakeless bikes and a crowded field to the mix and you can see why it is often couriers, not pro’s, taking the gold.

Last man standing

Watching ‘Last Man Standing’ in Berlin was Huez’s RAD RACE baptism of fire. 128 fixed gear riders took to a disused go-kart track to push themselves and the boundaries of competitive racing to its very limit.

Riders head out in groups of 8, with the four toughest making it through to the finals. Once there, the race continues until there is only one rider left – the last man standing.

Battle

The ultimate clash of wills, a RAD RACE battle pits single speed, road, cross and mountain bikes against each other on a 250m circuit, beginning on an elevated track to give all riders a flying start. Currently held in central Berlin, the rules are as simple as ever: win every round and emerge as champion.

BergFest

A relative newcomer to the RAD RACE pack, BergFest is held on the FeldBerg in Frankfurt and breaks the RAD RACE norm of short, technical crits. The rules are straightforward: riders must sprint up 11km of brutal mountain road with an average 6% incline – and the fastest up the mountain wins.  Open to geared and fixed bikes, and even runners, the BergFest has to be one of the toughest races going.

42.195 km

Ever wanted to hammer it down empty inner city streets? Well you just missed out the inaugural RAD RACE World Championships were just held in Berlin.

Altogether 250 riders took place, and got the chance to test themselves against the fastest fixed gear riders in the world straight through the streets of Berlin. The pace was searing with the winner averaging a speed of 47 km an hour. The race took no prisoners and those who didn’t come through with bursting lungs and burning legs didn’t come through at all, with the course taking out some of the groups fastest riders in an almighty crash!

We love what the RAD RACE team are doing and to show our support have decided to partner with them to offer prizes to all the winners of this years events! So what are you waiting for check out how you can get involved in the next events. Team Huez* are signed up for the action in Hamburg on the 22nd of August….we look forward to seeing you on the start line!

photo: Drew Kaplan

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