Report: Track Strike! The 1896 Classic Marathon Race Revival III
This year we decided to produce the third instalment of 1896CMRR. The race is growing, more or different people are interested in it and we were there to make sure it’ll go into history. Two things we decided to change this time. We didnt bother with permits or police assistance since they are not effective even if they get paid and the race was dependant on the riding attitude of the participants which was exceptional and respectful. Secondly, we didnt bother making the course friendly or alter it for convenience, this was the longest and hardest route of the 1896CMRR so far and it was very well received with no accidents. We are chuffed.
We had a great mix of participants, from novice commuters to MASTER category, from a 15 year old to some ELITE and a couple of messengers – all in all an amazing bunch of true blood fixed gear riders that have been getting stronger and more stoked on riding. People visited to race or just to get involved from Thessaloniki, Kalamata, Kerkyra, Nafplio and Kavala while our call for volunteers was really well received as well.
One thing to note: this year and few days before raceday a general strike was announced by Workers Union so the road around city centre were going to be hellish with traffic. However in true spirit of street racing we decided to go ahead as planned.
But first of all is the people, the racers. Be it ELITE racers accustomed to the wooden boards of the velodrome with a track bike or amateur fixed gear skidding the asphalt, the 1896CMRR is about mixing them altogether in one day with cycling camaraderie and a passion for the cycling culture.
The course was 85klm with 1273m elevation gain as it ascended steadily towards Marathon Lake, past Kalentzi and then dropping brutally to a spiral as it hit sea level. The trickiest part was yet to come with the rolling hills burning the legs just a little more before the last smooth descent towards the city centre. As for the race it was quickly devided in two groups. By the time they hit Syggroy Forest and as the grade got steeper the fittest riders formed a group and Petros Gazonis broke away with only Christos Dellios following him. The rest remained together with no real strategy, just pedalling fast, all waiting to make a move at the famous marathon turnover in Stavros.
The riding we saw was great, for novice riders was the ultimate test (they all had such a big smile when they finished) while for the rest it was a great display of broism as they formed a spectacular track peloton shredding their way through traffic.
Champion: Not much tο say about Petros Gazonis. He is going YOLO on racing bikes for 10 years straight now and it doesnt seem like he is tired of it at all. He has raced road, track, MTB, cyclocross and now 1896CMRR was his first time racing fixed on the streets. He is the ultimate rad bike guy writing, talking, promoting the bike stoke and racing with a good heart and a polite manner. He raced the 85klm with a 34.92klm/h and his highest speed of 78,5 klm/h (48/16) is fucking freakish to comprehend and the ultimate record on a fixed gear bike in Athens. If you like to ride with Petros catch him on any of his my_athlete training rides and make sure you say congrats!
2nd position: If there is a guy dissed by luck that must be Christos Dellios – veteran of the ELITE cycling circuit with 1000 Dentra Cycling Team – a 38 year old father of 2 and an active business man he represents what we would like to see more of in Greece: ELITE roadies finding some time for the fixed wheel stoke be it commuting or a bit of loony track racing like 1896CMRR. In a no bullshit attitude he was the only one to follow Gazonis attack around Sygrou Forest and even if he wizzled a bit around Palini he stood strong mentally and came back with a powerful thrust. Unfortunately extreme traffic and a fail by our moped ruined his well deserved chance for a sprint towards the finish line, something that he had worked hard for through the race. Mad respect to Christos for this amazing racing display!
3rd place: It was surely a great race for Tilemachos Makropoulos and it seems that he was the one from the 2nd big group that followed the best strategy and it paid out. His choice of big gear ratio (49/16) gave him that extra kick against the rest combined with his excellent physical condition made the difference as he made the move and broke away around Stavros Ag. Paraskevi, as Faidon’s attack was slowly dying out. Entering the city he hammered the pedal continuously around extreme traffic entering Acropolis in style. Congratulations to Tilemachos for this powerhouse performance!
If there was one guy apart from the top 2 that made aggressive game that is Faidon Lalagiannis, reminding us Dan Chabanov’s break few years back in Brooklyn. However timing is the most important aspect in such a thing and unfortunately it was executed too soon for him to keep the third position till the finish. Street cred to Faidon for this awesome performance.
As for our own bunch… We never have thought that our own support program would be such a great success. We are super happy to see them progressing and getting down for whatever they like best each one of them personally. Panos Yoti and Yiannis after a long and painful year of training are coming strong lately on the velodrome with some podium time too while Themis is continuing his quest for KOM traveling for mountainous fixed gear races and muddy CX. Congrats to all three of them.
And then its the groups! Groups of friends, co-workers, co-cyclists or just residents of the same town travelling together – like we have done so many times in the past – to race and participate. It is an inbred characteristic of the fixed gear community worldwide since the day one. We are very pleased to see people getting together for the 1896CMRR and a special remark has to be made first for the Aegean Airlines Track Cycling Team for its first official appearance. Mad respect also to the Basement Bike team from Kalamata, the boys from Thessaloniki and all other people that came from out of town!
Last but no least are the volunteers! Lots of cyclists responded to our call and their help makes this event something special. Without them the 1896CMRR wouldn’t be possible. We would like to thank all of them (pictured or not) and we hope we will see them in the next one!
01. Petros Gazonis – 02:27:57
02. Christos Dellios – Thessaloniki + 00:35
03. Tilemachos Makropoulos – Kerkyra +05:08
04. Themis Antoniadis – +05:29
05. Thanos Agoros – Thessaloniki + 06:34
06. Michalis Michalakopoulos
07. Faidon Lalagiannis
08. Dimitris Budas – Thessaloniki
09. Panos Yoti
10. Konstantinos Nikolaidis
11. Andrew Leach/Aegean – UK
12. Nikiforos Kouris
13. Spyros Lykoudis
14. Yiannis Leontaridis
15. Vagelis Papasotiriou
16. Elias Koen
17. Panagiotis Dallas
18. Dimitris Pitianoudis
19. Apostolos Panagiotopoulos
20. Vasillis Vitzileos
21. Thomas Patelis/Quad
22. Dimitris Diakoumopoulos
23. Stylianos Kamarotos/Aegean
24. Vassilis Karagiannis
25. Tasos Bintsis – Thessaloniki
26. Paris Karagiannis
27. Joel Verlesen/Aegean – BL
28. Panos Kilikidis – Thessaloniki
29. Dimitris Angelopoulos
30. Argyris Dinopoulos
31. Giorgos Spyridis – Kalamata
32. Dimitris Dimaggelos – Kalamata
33. Dimitris Fiflis
34. Dimitris Tseliagos
35. Dimitris Martseleas – Kalamata
36. Mixalis Vasileiadis – Kalamata
37. Christos Saliveros
38. Grigoris Dimaresis 3:36:35
Nikos Kallias – DNS
Antonis Doukas – DNS
Yiannis Mavroeidis – DNF
Dimitris Dontsios – DNS
Stavros Mpekas – DNF
Thanks to all racers, spectators, volunteers and media that supported.
Grant sponsor: State Bicycle Co.
Prizes: Cinelli, Cadence Collection, Three Legs and A Model, De Feet, thextreme.me, We Are Awesome
Trophy: Nice Trails
Fuelled by Desperados Beer.
Many thanks to Petros Gkotsis for these awesome photographs. Additional photos by Agi Kolyvas.
With the continuous support of Hellenic Red Cross Volunteers.
We are truly indebted to Eva Patapatiou’s kindness and support.
Till next time… the spirit of Konstantinidis lives!
Produced by: Agi Kolyvas // Assistant producer: Konstantinos Koroneos // Course Coordinator: Spyros Pan // Media: Natasha Pandi // art: Viktor @ Bend, Vagelis Gravaritis // Registration: Haris Papacharalambous // Drivers: Valantis Filliakoudis, Dimtris Patrikios, Lefteris Kostakiotis // Filmer: Panagiotis Angelopoulos, Agi Kolyvas // Volunteers: Sotiris Kazabakas, Kostas Akritidis, Xristos Xronis, Iliana Martinez, Xristina Konstantinou, Giorgos Damaskinos, Nasos Kouroupis, Dionisis Souliotis, Thomas Kogias, Miltos, Vaggelis //
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strava course here
KEEP TRACK GAME ALIVE AND STRONG