A Day at the Baths...

19 November 11

Posted at 8:57

So if your looking at the title and wondering what im on about. Continue reading and i'll explain it all!

So after a 5 hour drive I eventually got to Manchester, After using my surprisingly useless iPhone as a Sat Nav, It actually took me to the write place.
Although I drove by the build twice going "nah that doesn't look like the place". So on the 3rd time going by I though may aswell go have a look and see if it is here, since the iPhone was saying it was.

Walking up the stairs into a old old public swimming, I realised that I was in the right place. So I was doing a photo Essay on the weekend, from the building till the end of the even also I had planned to do portraits of the riders and shoot some video if I didnt have enough too do. Then if I realised that I had loads of spare time I was gonna ride. Yep I done them all purely because im off my head!

The Minidrome, a 25 metre round velodrome custom made in Germany by a comapny called Velo Track built specially for Red Bull. 100 Riders try to qualify then the top 32 go through to the next round. A Pursuit race until only 1 is left and they are crowned champion.

So the floor had to be leveled off since the swimming pool isn't flat. Once this was done the guys above could come in and do there thing!

7 hours later and boom it was built then followed by another few hours making the finishing touches for the next day. 

Click the pcture below to view the complete Photo Essay, was hard trying to get it down to 20 but I think I managed it and hopefully showed what the Weekend was like from my point of view.

Saturday rolled in and the event was upon us,the venue looked great,the red bull guys worked real hard and it all came together perfectly.

After the qualifying had been brought down to the top 32, it was into pursuit mode.
If you dont know how this works I'm just about to tell you.

Right 2 riders are on the track at one time, to win you've got to catch the other rider for 2 laps or your race for the ten laps and the fastest goes throught to the next round. I qualifyied pretty good this time(7th), so though I would have got through to at least the last 16 or maybe the last 8 if I was lucky.  
Unlucky for me I ended up racing Ross who was 3rd in Glasgow, I pretty much had it in my head that I was beat as soon as I saw that. But I went hard and ended up putting him out in the 1st round, It was a good race as I knew he was fast. But sometimes I even surprise myself.

Next round I wasn't so lucky, going up against Lewis Lacey the World Cup 4X rider. I just wasn't fast enough and he was... So back to the duties of taking photos.
Now that it was getting into the really fast guys, mistakes cannot be made. Since the track is so short about 3 odd seconds a lap, a mistake can pretty much cost you the win!

Inbetween the down time I took a series of portraits of the riders, fast guys, some guys looked cool, some had great looking bikes.
Ricky Crompton who finished 2nd is below. To see the others click the image and it will take you to the gallery!

So into the final it was Toms Alsberg and Local Lad Ricky Crompton. After a tough tough race, Toms Came out on top, at one point it could have went either way but Toms just had that extra little bit! Next time i'm sure Ricky will be back with a vengance.

Well that's it till Feb next year, there's one in Paris in a few weeks but I dont think the budget is gonna go that far consider Christmas will be knocking on the a few weeks later!

I'd like to Thanks Oli, Micheal and all the guys and girls at Red Bull for making this possible and all others that were involved and helped me out in this process, Its greatly appricated!!

And I promised to start blogging again after my haitus....



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Stephen Hughes