- Colin Strickland (Aventon Factory Team, US)
- Ivan Ravaioli (Bahumer Racing Team, IT)
- Daniele Callegarin (Oscar Cycling Team, IT)
- Augusto Reati (Supernova, IT)
- Luis Junquera (Polandbike, ES)
- Tim Ceresa (8bar Team, FR)
- Alejandro Padilla (Impulse Stage, GT)
- Stefan Vis (Cinelli Chrome, NL)
- Raul Torres (Leader Bikes, MX)
- Marius Petrache (RO)
1st lap (breakfast prime): Mario Paz Duque, CO
Mid-way (dinner prime): Marius Petrache, RO
Fastest Lap Qualifying Time: Samuele Cai, IT (1:31.5)
Rockstar Games Top Antagonist: Marius Petrache, RO
- Ainara Elbusto (Conor WRC, ES)
- Kacey Lloyd (Rockstar Games, US)
- Fleur Faure (Polandbike, FR)
- Hayley Edwards (Why Be Normal?, UK)
- Vittoria Reati (Supernova Factory Team, IT)
- Jasmine Dotti (Oscar Cycling, IT)
- Brooke Philips (Pedlas Persuit, UK)
- Sammi Runnels (Aventon, US)
- Carla Mafria (Fixieland, ES)
- Ash Duban (Affinity Cycles, US)
1st lap (breakfast prime): Ainara Elbusto, ES
Mid-way (dinner prime): Jo Smith, UK
Fastest Lap Qualifying Time: Ainara Elbusto, ES (1:43.977)
Rockstar Games Top Antagonist: Francisca Campos, CL
Click here for full results.
MEN’S RACE REPORT
American Colin Strickland (Aventon Factory Team) set the pace early during qualifying session number three with a time of 1:32.818; this would have been quick enough for pole position last year. But it was Samuele Cai (IRD AW LAB SQUADRA CORSE, Italy) who eventually took pole with a time of 1:31.532. Only 5 hundredths of a second separated the top 3 on the grid.
With 6 of the top 10 places in the Men’s overall series competition dominated by Italians, Milano No.6 was theirs to win. The deep international field consisting of 27+ countries, however, was not letting them have the race. Proven, in what’s becoming a Red Hook Crit tradition, Colombia’s Mario Paz Duque (IRD AW LAB SQUADRA CORSE) powered to win his sixth first lap prime.
Paz Duque held his lead over the field for three laps, but as the race settled into its early exchanges animators Daniele Callegarin (OSCAR Cycling Team, Italy), Augusto Reati (Supernova Factory Team, Italy) and Sebastian Koeber (8Bar, Germany) launched a series of attacks, setting pace to close the gap and bring the field back together.
At this point in the race several riders contributed to the pace setting, but a decisive attack from Romania’s Marius Petrache, riding without a team sponsor, put him off the front for 2 laps. Amazingly, Petrache qualified for the feature event by finishing in the top ten of the Last Chance Race and starting 87th on the grid. Although he was brought back from his initial break, he attacked again this time winning the midway prime. The prime win, the incredible move through the grid places and his repeated attacks in the first half of the race would ultimately win him the Rockstar Games Top Antagonist Trophy.
With an animated first half of the bike race, it was Strickland who launched an ambitious counter attack with 11 laps remaining. Initially securing a small lead, indecision within the field ultimately allowed Strickland an advantage of up to 14 seconds.
Red Hook Crit veteran Stefan Vis (Cinelli Chrome, Holland) dictated the pace of the chasing pack made up of mostly Italian contenders but this only served to consolidate Strickland’s lead.
Having maintained and increased his lead, Strickland crossed the line with ease, celebrating out of the final corner and all the way up the home straight. A valiant sprint from championship leader Ivan Ravaioli secured 2nd place and Daniele Callegarin (Oscar Cycling, Italy) half a wheel behind took 3rd.
WOMEN’S RACE REPORT
Ainara Elbusto (Conor WRC, ES) came out strong to dominate qualification with a time of 1:43.977, a solid 3.5 seconds quicker than teammate and fellow Spaniard Ahechu Itaso. Last year’s RHC Milano winner, Ash Duban, placed 3rd although championship contender, Kacey Lloyd (Rockstar Games) could only manage 23rd, almost 20 seconds off the pace from Elbusto’s pole position lap time.
Milano offers the only street circuit in the calendar and its challenging chicane, technical roundabout and long straightaways proved no issue for series leader, Elbusto, who consolidated on her No.1 grid position with a commanding sprint to claim the first lap prime.
The race quickly settled and a pack of approximately 25 riders formed the lead group including series contenders Elbusto and Lloyd, Red Hook Crit Milano No.5 champion Duban, and season newcomers Jo Smith (Why Be Normal?, UK) and Francisco Campos (Santafixie) of Chile.
A series of pace increasing exchanges followed, the lead switching out almost every lap. This tactic worked to split the lead group further and a smaller lead pack was beginning to form when a crash on turn 2 required a race stoppage. The race was restarted with the mid-way prime lap.
Coming out of turn 9, it looked as though Elbusto’s lead would be enough to claim her second prime of the evening, but a fierce attack up the inside of the track from Great Britain’s Jo Smith left her wanting. Smith led the lead pack into the second half of the race.
At this point the 25 athletes who had formed the first lead pack of the day were again all in contention. Francisco Campos was a constant presence at the front of the race, forcing Elbusto to continually raise her pace to maintain control. This in addition to a few well timed attacks kept the race animated and Campos was awarded the Rockstar Games Top Antagonist Trophy for her efforts.
After seeing 3 laps to go a crash in turn 2 reduced the front group to 8-10 riders as they saw 2 laps to go. It was a mixture of seasoned Red Hook Crit experts and talented newcomers making for a suspenseful bell lap as Fleur Faure (Poloandbike, FR) attacked through the start/finish line and lead until about half a lap to go.
Out of turn 9, in a scene that has become synonymous with the women’s race this year, Lloyd and Elbusto were locked in a sprint for the finish line but Elbusto lead through the corner and held her lead to claim first place at Milano No.6 and seal her place as the 2015 season champion. Lloyd took second with Faure sprinting for 3rd in what was a truly thrilling finale.
This concludes the 2015 Red Hook Criterium Championship Series, 2015. Congratulations to all our winners and special thanks to all our sponsors without which the Red Hook Crit would not be possible. See you next year!