The second round of the Red Hook Criterium Championship Series brought riders to the Brooklyn Navy Yard to tackle a vastly different course than the March series opener. The new course, featuring more corners, narrow streets, and the return of some cobblestones made for an all-out race of survival on a beautiful Saturday night. With qualifiers held in the waning daylight hours and a precursor 5k running race, the 100-strong field lined up for 26 laps of a 1.25 kilometer parcours.
The race was billed as a showdown between two three-time winners of the RHC: Dan Chabanov and defending champion, Neil Bezdek. A host of others were lying in waiting, ready to take their first title, but in the end there was no stopping Bezdek. Crashes and flats claimed their share of victims, including Chabanov and his teammate, Evan Murphy, runner up to Bezdek in March.
The quickly splintering group devolved into bait for Bezdek and eventual second place, Kyle Murphy, as they steadily lapped nearly the entire field. In the closing lap, only five riders were left in the race. As Bezdek outsprinted Murphy, Marc Marino honed in on third place, followed by Al Barouh and Cooper Ray.
With Brooklyn under its belt, the RHC Championship heads to Barcelona, Spain in a few months time before wrapping up in Milano in October.