The Aventon Factory team started the USA fixed gear racing season with a strong show of force at Mission Crit in San Francisco. The Mission Crit has grown from a small grassroots event to a must-do race on the fixed gear crit circuit that attracts some of the top USA talents.
Kym Nonstop and Esther Walker represented the women’s team, while David Santos, Isaac Howe and Chris Tolley made up the men’s team, and all of them were excited to test themselves before Red Book Crit Brooklyn.
This was the first race on the new Aventon Mataro and Irwin tubeless wheels and the riders seized the chance to put this new gear to the test. The airfoil shape of the new team bike makes it the fastest Aventon ever, and the tubeless wheels handle like a dream, while seriously reducing the chance of flat tires. Both races started off at a furious pace, with lesser riders being dropped almost immediately. In the women’s race, Kym and Esther were constantly on the front ensuring a fast but controlled pace. Both riders showed excellent form, with Nonstop showing some of her best form ever.
The top contenders were eventually reduced to a group of 9 that included both Aventon riders, as well as former teammate Sammi Runnels, Carla Nafria, and other top athletes. With 1 lap to go, Esther attacked hard and established a small gap with Nafria at the front. Esther knew she had to be the first rider in the last corner. So she took control of the race, motored to that last corner, and beat Nafria by less than .25 seconds.
In the men’s race, it was obvious that the stronger teams wanted to get rid of the pretenders right away. Specialized had the numbers with 4 strong riders at the front. Santos was looking the best of the Aventon 3 and knew that his best chance was to escape with one of the Specialized riders. With 17 laps to go, Specialized rider Stefan Schafer opened a small gap on the field. David immediately closed the gap to Schaefer and the 2 worked together to establish a strong lead of at least 18 seconds.
The field was now racing for third.
The two lead racers began to lose their gap at 1 to go as they eyed each other and the field chased hard. Santos and Schaefer didn’t wait too long, as they knew the hard-charging field would catch them quickly if they didn’t stay on the gas. The two riders sprinted to the last corner, with Santos leading, but Schaefer managed to beat him into the corner and then out of it. It was practically impossible to pass in that last straightaway, and the two finished in the same order as they went into that corner.
While Santos and Walker were busy getting results in California, their Aventon teammates Lisa Worner won the NL Crit Series race in Amsterdam, and Olivier Leroy won Les Boucles D’or in France.
The team is ready and looking for a win in Brooklyn this Saturday.
A big shoutout to our sponsors that helped us kick off this crit season!
Team kits, shoes, and race gear provided by Giro
Wheelsets provided by Irwin Cycling
Race eye-wear provided by Roka
Photo Credit: @boostamantefotos