Rumours that the Red Hook Crit would come to the British capital increasingly sounded more forcefully and, finally, this year the first edition of the Series RHC London has been created.
The new episode of the famous Series RHC arrives, as already it usually does, with a prior week full of events, parties and the reunion of all those who don’t want to miss this great event.
Thursday began with a pre-pre-party in the famous Look mum no hands where officially started what it is called in the social network as the #critweek.
On Friday evening it was the turn of Oakley In Residence and its pre-party on the outskirts of Exmouth Market. As expected, the party was completely filled with people, the majority of the riders who would race the day after were there, on the streets of London and making a great atmosphere. Greetings, beers, and laughter were, without a doubt, the protagonists of the evening.
RHC LONDON No.1
The place chosen to carry out this first edition of the Red Hook Criterium London was the Greenwich Peninsula, closed to the 02 Arena. A zone that we believe, quite correct due to the characteristics of the location and that, despite the limitations that typically make the administrations to organize this type of sport events, they were up to scratch.
As constructive critique, we missed a better bike access to the Peninsula. We only found a single pedestrian tunnel which allows crossing the River by bicycle and get to the race area without using other means of transport.
Regarding the circuit, it was a path of 1.1 km long, attractive and in which you could go very fast. It is characterized by the technique of its curves, long straight and different types of asphalt that added a plus of excitement to the tour.
We’d like to point out that for this occasion cameras were placed by all areas of the circuit allowing the public and the rest of the riders follow the race by a giant screen situated in the parc fermé, without a doubt, a great idea.
The qualification started, with five groups for the men’s category (one less than usually) and one for the women’s category. There were several scares in the course of each group, but if there is a fall that we would highlight is that happened in the first group. A multiple accident at the curve before the long straight that involved a lot of riders of teams as Team Cinelli Chrome, Bahumer Racing, Dafne Fixed and some other more, and forced to stop for a few moments the classification and to come ambulances.
The women level continues to increase and in each race new riders come, who dare to participate and fight hard for niche among the best riders.
The winner of the breakfast (sprint of the first round) was the British Jo Smith of Adalta Cycling Club team who had to work hard to take this award from Ainara Elbusto.
During the race, Kacey Lloyd and the same Ainara had several attempts to escape, reaching an amazing speed, despite this, the persecutors Ash Duban, Sammi Runnels, Fleur Faure and Jo Celso, managed to reach them and to complete the leading group
Just a few laps from the end Fleur attacked, she tried to escape to get the victory but the strongest didn’t allow her and all was decided in an incredible final sprint between Ainara and Kacey in which the Spanish ended up getting the victory.
As already happened in Milan in 2014, Last Chance, or play-off, as many call it, has been cancelled due to the time lost with the fall and we assume, not to risk and give cause for more incidents that may affect the final races.
Not yet recovered from the exciting women race that it started already the highlight of the day.
The stronger riders were in their positions and David Trimble began the expected countdown.
Mario Paz Duke alias “Chino” (IRD Modena) came out full throttle to get the initial sprint once again but this time had to dispute it with the American Zac Felpel (Heavy Pedal) who not made it easy. Finally, Mario got his fourth consecutive breakfast and thus ensured the podium at the end of the race.
The head of race gathered thanks to the work of Addison Zawada of the State Bicycle Co. who lap to lap got to cut back the advantage of the escaped riders and managed to assemble the bunch. Addison made a great race and that led him to win the Award Top Antagonist.
Fighting for the top positions were the most favourites: Thibaud Lhenry (Team Cinelli Chrome), Ivan Ravaioli (Bahumer Racing Team), Mario Paz Duque (IRD Modena), Augusto Reati (Supernova Factory Team), William Guzman (Impulse Stage) and Raul Torres (Leader Bikes).
Finally, William Guzman, after getting the fastest time during qualifying and staying in the top positions studying their rivals, managed to win the victory in the final sprint, followed by Mario Paz Duke and Thibaud Lhenry.