Race Report for London No.2

London No.2 Official Poster

London No.2 Men's Top Ten

1Colin StricklandAllez-Allez SpecializedUS
2Loic ChetoutCofidis Solutions CreditsFR
3Aldo Ino IlesicAllez-Allez SpecializedSI
4Ivan RavaioliTeam Cinelli ChromeIT
5Daniele CallegarinDaniele CallegarinIT
6David SantosAventon Factory TeamUS
7Marius PetracheTeam Cinelli ChromeRO
8Alvise ZanascaBahumer Racing TeamIT
9Stefan SchaferMaloja PushbikersDE
10Alec BriggsLaClassica Racing Team By SpeedgangGB

1st lap (breakfast) prime: Alec Briggs
Halfway (dinner) prime: Luis Junquera
Fastest Qualifying Lap: Aldo Ilesic – 1:11.158
Rockstar Games Top Antagonist: Loic Chetout

London No.2 Women's Top Ten

1Dani KingWiggle High 5GB
2Jasmine DottiRidewill Oscar CyclingIT
3Ash DubanAffinity CyclesUS
4Francisca CamposRAW Santafixie TeamCL
5Jo CelsoTeam Cinelli ChromeUS
6Carla NafriaCarla NafriaES
7Hayley EdwardsUnattachedGB
8Keira McVittyWhybenormal?GB
9Vittoria ReatiLaClassica Racing Team By SpeedgangIT
10Jo SmithWhybenormal?GB

1st Lap (breakfast) prime: Ainara Elbusto
Halfway (dinner) prime: Dani King
Fastest Qualifying Lap: Dani King – 1:19.198
Rockstar Games Top Antagonist: Ash Duban

Click here for complete results.

Women’s Race Report

Current series leader and defending champion Ainara Elbusto (Caispe – WRC Concor) lined up on the start line next to newcomer and current gold medal Olympian, Dani King (Wiggle High5), for what was set to be a grandstand event. Contenders Jo Smith (Whybenormal?), Ash Duban (Affinity Cycles), Vittoria Riati (Laclassica Racing Team by Speedgang) and Brooke Philips (Pedlas Pursuit) were also present to vie for the win.

After Elbusto, characteristically, won the first lap prime, athletes adopted a considered approach, each waiting for one of the other favourites to make the first move.

King forced the decisive selection two laps later and attacked into Turn One, taking Elbusto and Jasmine Dotti (Ridewill Oscar Cycling) with her. King pulled for two laps while Dotti and Elbusto, wary of King’s strength, waited in her slipstream. Meanwhile, multiple riders attempted to either chase or bridge but only Ash Duban (Affinity Cycles) was able to separate herself from the main group and bridge to the leaders after a herculean two-lap effort.

At this point, it was clear that one of the four riders in the lead group were going to push for the win, but a mechanical failure for Elbusto in the early stages changed the dynamic. With her main rival now out of the race, King attacked and quickly distanced herself from Duban and Dotti.

This would be the narrative for the remainder of the race.  King rode aggressively, gaining around four seconds and sweeping away a portion of the field one each lap.

With eight laps to go, only three riders remained: King, Duban and Dotti. This is how the race would conclude.

Never before has the Red Hook Criterium seen this level of domination from any rider, male or female. Given King’s calibre, many anticipated that she would contend for the podium, but no none thought she upend the race so completely.

Spectators should look forward to Barcelona No.4 where Ash Duban will wear the red jersey as the series leader.  But all eyes will be on Elbusto and King as they line up again to challenge for the win.

Men’s Race report

95 athletes from 38 countries, including national road and criterium champions, world tour and professional six-day track racers, lined up to start the Red Hook Criterium London No.2 in the deepest field in history the race.

After local hero Alec Briggs won the first lap prime, no clear leader emerged as multiple riders shuffled positions at the sharp end of the race, forcing rider after rider off of the back of the field. Athletes like Daniel Holloway (Intelligentsia GR), current American road and criterium national champion, and ex-pro tour rider Ignzaio Moser (Bahumer Racing Team) each sought to force a selection but were kept in check by eager riders behind.

A decisive move finally appeared to materialize after Colin Stickland (Allez Allez-Specialized) countered Luis Junquera’s (Poloandbike) mid race prime win. But the move with fellow American David Santos (Aventon Factory Team) proved to be short-lived as the main field was quick to prevent Strickland from riding away by himself for the third race in a row.

Amazingly, despite the pack’s concerted efforts, Strickland counter-attacked his own move and established a small gap with Marius Petrache (Team Cinelli Chrome), current national road champion of Romania, in his slipstream. Strickland soon grew frustrated with Petrache’s pace and set off on his own.

Other riders, including Stefan Schafer (Maloja Pushbikers), Ivan Ravaioli (Team Cinelli Chrome) and Loic Chetout (Cofidis Solutions Credits), made chase and traded places at the front of the pack, while Strickland’s loyal teammate Aldo Ilesic surfed the front as a deterrent to any larger chase effort. Similar to Elbusto in the women’s race, Holloway, a key rival and podium contender, was absent as an early mechanical ultimately shaped the outcome of the race by preventing him from following the eventual winner’s initial move.

After multiple failed attempts to rally the chasing pack around him, Chetout nearly bridged all the way to Strickland alone. With only four laps to go, this was a huge, and ultimately fruitless, task. But it was this move which earned Chetout the Rockstar Top Antagonist Award and second place to Stickland’s third consecutive win.

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