Milan is always something special, maybe is the environment, the city, the passion for cycling or is that Milan is always the last episode of the RHC Series and it’s like when you’re in school and arrives the end, missing just one test… the adrenaline is not controlled and the minutes seem to last hours.
In a year of attendance records, the Milan is not far behind and assembled the largest number of teams, sponsors, and a total of 325 registered, just incredible.
In the parc-fermé of Bovisa a lot of movement from early in the morning, almost no physical space to mount tents and some teams have to manage well to get a place. Year after year the event grows up non-stop.
We saw many new faces, positive sign that the Red Hook Criterium is a format rather than consolidated; a phenomenon that few can resist.
Ainara Elbusto was the big star of the season and Milan was no less. Getting in qualify the fastest lap with a time of 1:43:977, a “flash”, makes clear that during the race she will fight tooth and nail to get the best position. Although the overall standings of the series will not be allowed to gamble, the champions are not to do calculations and make sure the championship victory, the champions are to do great things and win as they deserve. Beside her in the starting line, some of her rivals warriors: Ash Duban, Sammi Runnels, Stefania Baldi, Carla Nafria, among others.
Ready, Set, Go! The first round is for the Navarre who leaves behind easily the group, second round the group remains together … constant relays and some escape attempts mostly by Francisca Campos. The prime of the midrace is for Jo Smith from Team why be normal, following the race with a brutal pace, more and more the girls are braver and in a short time the level has grown up a lot.
The group breaks inexorably, few have stood up the pace of the first group, Kacey Lloyd manages to get in the lead group, where all are, Ash, Carla, Fleur, Francisca, Jo, Vittoria and Ainara, in the second part Francisca Campos attacks several times which will be worth the award as TOP Antagonist.
Last laps, the volata is imminent, the deafening roar of the Milan public crown Ainara Elbusto as the undisputed owner of Red Hook Criterium for the second year. Incredible Ainara! Shy and reserved on the podium, a lioness on the road.
After the great duel of blood in Barcelona between Mario Paz Duque and Ivan Ravaioli only a few weeks ago, the fight is back in the last stage of Red Hook. All riders are ready for everything, because Milan is the last chance to get a good result in the overall standings of the season.
Ravaioli with two victories (NYC and Barcelona) and a fourth place in London leads the championship with good margin. The closest rivals are Augusto Reati, William Guzmán and Fabio Scarrazzati.
The best time of the qualifying session is to Samuele Cai and succeeds with a time two seconds under his previous year time, a very significant date. This level in this race is going to another planet. The grid is a show, Bovisa turns into a theater of urban cycling for a night, and the number of visitors is multiplied regarding predecessors events. The layout of the Italian circuit is one of the fastest and most fun of the tournament. Riders mounted inhuman gear ratios and just think of duck down and ride wildly.
Darkness tells us that it is time to start. David Trimble‘s voice unleashed madness. “Five, four, three, two… one, gooo!!”
The race imposes from the beginning an infernal pace, no time for jokes. Mario Paz Duque gets the prime as he usually does but unfortunately suffers a puncture during the race and lost the train of the first bunch.
Lap after lap, some attacks are appearing without success, and it is amazing that one of them is by Mariu Petrache, second in the Last Chance Race, an absolute hero who wins a mid prime TOP Antagonist.
With ten laps ahead of Colin Strickland, a rider from Texas and Aventón Team, he attacks alone or just breakaway as the Americans say (which is cooler). First seems to be the typical suicide escape that ends after few laps but as the laps passed, meters ahead of Colin increase over the bunch.
The riders who follow the lead of the race do not get organized to prevent the escape of Colin. For several laps Stefan Vis (aka Fish) leaded the head group, meanwhile, Ravaioli was controlling his rivals and at the last Impulse Stage he escaped to hunt Strickland but Colin held like a champ and passed first at the finish line with his arms in the air and twenty meters to celebrate his first victory in a Red Hook Crit. Ivan Ravaioli gets the second place and Callegarin the third.
LAST CHANCE RACE
The race was won by Alessandro Mariani of Iride, after an incredible escape from Marius Petrache which lasts almost the most of the race. In general, the Last Chance more than in the past had a very good and homogeneous medium level. In the years they have grown self-managed teams which clearly can’t compete with the riders of the pro brands, is another RHC, more humane and equally entertaining and exciting, perhaps for future editions would not be a bad idea to think rewarded with podium the winners of this race and give an identity to all teams and riders who faced expenses, travel and training sessions throughout the year and around the world.
The Red Hook Crit Series 2015 has been amazing. David Trimble, his entire staff and volunteers have managed to organize and carry out an event that already has PRO dimensions and expectations and no major failures and more and more people notice. It is a global phenomenon, but has also managed to maintain its essence. In Milan we saw exulting winners, the losers with a smile, the audience very involved increasingly larger. Despite everything, still no stars, the Red Hook Crit like every year ends on the streets of the city, where public, organizers and riders come together to celebrate everything great!