As every year Milan is the city responsible for closing the RHC Series. It has been a year full of new, exciting races and reunions between teams, brands and friends.
A 2016 in which the fixed scene, from the competition side, has taken a step further and got that big brands had interest in this discipline. Something which for some can be opportunities and, for others, a misfortune because it could be in danger the essence of what the fixed gear scene was at the beginning.
Opinions aside, the racers grill does not stop growing and increasing the level. Race after race we have seen as riders who last year was among the TOP50 now they have to struggle to get into the final. Others have directly to dispute the Last Chance Race (LCR) and fight for a place in the top ten and not miss the “last chance” to participate in the star race of the night. Don’t be confused, people saw the LCR at the beginning as a consolation race, now it has become into an authentic second final where they race to an incredible pace and in which they cannot make any error if they don’t be out.
Regarding women, they don’t stay behind. The participation of several professional riders from the track and road world has made also that the level increases extremely and impresses us in each race.
On this occasion, the riders Rachele Barbieri (Cylance Pro Cycling / Ird Carrera Squadra Corse), Ilaria Sanguineti (BePink) and Gretchen Stumhofer (Aventon Factory Team) leaded the race almost from the beginning. Ainara Elbusto fought against them trying to do not break the group and avoided several attempts to escape, but the effort of the WRC Conor rider was not enough and few riders of the bunch helped her in this task.
The three riders who topped the race finally opened a hollow and it ended up being a hand to hand between Italian (Rachele and Ilaria) and the American (Gretchen) to get the victory.
Meanwhile, in the first bunch the positions were changing lap to lap. Ash Duban, depended of the result of this race to win the Championship so she was keeping an eye on all rivals waiting for the right moment to sneak in a good position and get the necessary points that would allow her to proclaim absolute leader of the Series.
After the exciting women race, came the time for men.
The guys of the Allez-Allez Specialized team arrived as clear favourite but, after the Barcelona’s race, it was clear that their adversaries in Milan won’t put them it easy.
The first attack was from the French, Olivier Leroy (Aventon Factory Team), who managed to escape from the Group and, after several laps alone, managed to open a gap of a few seconds. The unbeatable Colin Strickland didn’t like what he was looking and decided to pull the group to try to reach him. Next to him, his team mate Aldo Ino Ilesic and the young Mario Paz Duque who didn’t want to be out of this fight.
Finally the bunch regrouped and the Texan guy tried to put a bit of calm and controlled their rivals. Although the calm lasted little.
Two riders of the Bahumer Racing Team, Alvise Zanasca and Filippo Fortin, tried several escapes without success but they showed clearly their intentions.
To 8 laps for the end the strongest increased even more the rhythm and the Group began to break. To the front, Stefan Schäfer (Maloja Pushbikers), Emanuele Poli (Supernova Factory Team), Ivan Ravaioli (Team Cinelli Chrome), Mario peace Duque and, of course, the guys of the Allez-Allez.
The last three laps, the German Stefan Schäfer, started a decisive attack which won some meters on their adversaries and finally got the victory.
- Rachele Barbieri (Cylance Pro Cycling / Ird Carrera Squadra Corse)
- Ilaria Sanguineti (BePink)
- Gretchen Stumhofer (Aventon Factory Team)
- Stefan Schäfer (Maloja Pushbikers)
- Emanuele Poli (Supernova Factory Team)
- Aldo Ino Ilesic (Allez-Allez Specialized)
From the Championship side, the victory in women’s category was for Ash Duban of the Affinity Cycles team, and in men’s category was for Colin Strikland of the Allez-Allez Specialized who has made a spectacular season.
The winners by teams were Why Be Normal? and, of course, the Allez-Allez Specialized.