The Red Hook Crit 2014, the increasingly popular, unsanctioned racing series, born and raised on the streets of Brooklyn, has announced addition of a separate women’s field. What’s more, the women will race for equal cash and prizes.

Since debut of the Red Hook Crit in 2008, women have raced alongside the men. At night, on city streets, on track bikes without brakes or gears. But founder and race director David Trimble, who built what started as a personal birthday party into a fan-friendly series that attracts more than 25,000 spectators and a growing list of sponsors, says it’s time for a change.

“The demand for a women’s field and our long overdue ability to control a second field finally aligned,” says Trimble.

To direct the women’s race, Trimble has tapped Kacey Manderfield (above, far right), a former professional track and road cyclist who won the inaugural Red Hook Crit and notched top-10 finishes among the men in most RHC races since. From her own experience, she observes that, as popularity of the race grew, attracting a stronger field, it became more difficult for women to compete in a meaningful way.

Register here for the first women’s race in the Red Hook Crit Series on Saturday, March 29. And get that date down into your calendar in any case, because it’s an awesome event for spectators. Click here for more details.

“It’s a super-fun event,” Manderfield says, noting a distinctive blend of bike racing with art, music and a party atmosphere. “I think it’s grown to the point where it makes sense to have separate women’s events.”

Manderfield seeks to attract a competitive line-up to the series, which in 2014 includes races in Brooklyn, Milan and Barcelona, but, in line with the Red Hook tradition, competitors from all corners of the cycling world are welcome.

“We want it to be fast and exciting,” Manderfield says, “but there will be an ability difference and we’re planning for that.”

Says Trimble: “The exciting thing for me is looking back over all the years and seeing the amazing development of our past champions. For the ladies that history is going to begin this March with a blank page to start writing the story. I can’t wait to see the performances that will define this moment.”

Photo: Ed Glazar

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