The world’s smallest velodrome landed in London’s East End at the weekend and went down a storm, with fixed gear riders from across the UK competing in a test of mental stamina, technical precision and raw strength to challenge for the Red Bull Mini Drome title.
In the end there can only be one winner, and it was Chris Akrigg from Yorkshire, who also broke the world track record over 10 laps with a time of 35.473 seconds on his way to overall victory.
Here’s a report of all the action by James Hoppe:
Cyclists from cities across Europe descended on York Hall in Bethnal Green, London on Saturday 15 January at a venue typically used for boxing matches. The air was heavy with the unmistakable scent of sweet, blood and adrenaline.
In front over 1000 fans, 105 riders were whittled down to 32 based on the quickest 10 laps of the track during the evening. These 32 riders then raced a two-up pursuit to eliminate each other over 10 laps. By the end of qualifying, Mongoose’s Chris Akrigg was fastest.
Charge Bikes rider Juliet Elliott had to face Chris in the first of the final rounds. Juliet told us that she wished that she could have a chance against other riders first because she is fast. Needless to say she went out, the first flawless battle from Chris, everybody and their dog must have had money on Akrigg for the win. In a later battle Chris needed his honed skills to bunny hop a rider mid race who fell just a few feet in front of him.
The final came down to Mongoose rider Chris against Christian from Cologne, Germany. Chris caught Christian within a few laps and leapt off the track to celebrate. Chris dominated all rounds and was untouchable, smashing the Mini Drome world record.
Chris won all his rounds within a few laps of starting, his experience of racing showed and his chain -snapping power left the riders dreading a dual with him. Marking his second Red Bull event win, it demonstrated his skills in any discipline of cycle sport.
A delighted Akrigg said: “It was so much harder to ride than it actually looked and I didn’t think I was going to win. The key was to really hit it hard from the start and everything else just happened. What an awesome event!”
1st) #51 Chris Akrigg
Total Time: 0:35.473
Fastest Lap: 0:03,232
Max. Speed: 22.51mph
2nd) #102 Christian Vollmer
Total Time: 0:40,200
Fastest Lap: 0:03,788
Max. Speed: 18.90mph
3rd) #31 Matthieu Trinquartt
Total Time: 0:43,010
Fastest Lap: 0:04,106
Max. Speed: 17.44mph
4th) #92. Ady Ridley
Total Time: 0:45,521
Fastest Lap: 0:04,345
Max. Speed: 16.47mph