The top 5 women take their place on the podium while race winner Kacey Lloyd raises up the custom Cinelli prize bike. [Photo: @strict / @eloisemavian]
This past Saturday’s Red Hook Criterium Barcelona No. 3 saw some of the championship series’ most thrilling racing yet. Congratulations to all of the athletes who participated and to winners Ivan Ravaioli, whose hard-fought performance maintains his series lead, and Kacey Lloyd who has battled series leader Ainara Elbusto all season and pulled out a victory on Saturday.
The women's feature race included 45 competitors competing over 20 laps. Series leader Elbusto scored the fastest qualifying lap of the day at 1:43.21 and led the race taking the first and midway prime. The lead pack included Elbusto, Lloyd, and sisters Lucia and Alicia Gonzalez of Spain.
In the Women's qualification race, 45 riders battled to post their best lap times to determine starting positions for the feature race. [Photo: @strict / @eloisemavian]
With 12 laps remaining, RHC veteran Fleur Faure attacked the Gonzalez sisters coming out of turn 10 but crashed into the barriers bringing the race to a halt. The medical staff examined Faure, who after getting to her feet told the staff she had to keep racing. The crowds began to roar, banging barrier panels and supporting Faure's tenacity while she rode to the start/finish to reset the race. Her unrelenting competitiveness and ferocious performance earned Faure the Rockstar Games Award for Top Antagonist. Elbusto controlled the final laps with Vittoria Reati and Lloyd behind. In the final lap, Lloyd attacked out of the hairpin in the second dramatic sprint to the finish between Lloyd and Elbusto we've seen this series. Lloyd maintained her lead ahead of Elbusto to win by half a wheel.
It's a photo finish as Kacey Lloyd bests championship leader Ainara Elbusto by half a wheel to win the Red Hook Crit Barcelona 2015. [Photo: @strict / @eloisemavian]
The men's race started with series leader Ivan Ravaioli taking the first lap prime away from four-time consecutive prime winner Mario Paz Duque of Columbia. With seven laps remaining, Paz Duque and Ravaioli opened up a massive 20 second lead over the field with Paz Duque leading the way, but then with just two laps remaining a race neutralizing crash brought out the red flags, halting the race. A furious Paz Duque waved his arms as he passed through the start finish line and ignited the crowd. As the race was reset, Paz Duque's fans were chanting his name, jumping up and down, and bringing the crowd to properly rowdy excitement.
The moment Mario Paz Duque (left) and Ivan Ravaioli (right) start their epic breakaway, this is how the race would finish with Ravaioli taking first place. [Photo: @strict / @eloisemavian]
In the final two laps, the leaders were granted their 20-second gap, followed by the chase pack in a delayed start.
Ravaioli attacked Paz Duque with half a lap remaining and sprinted out of turn 10 to take the final victory. Paz Duque naturally took the Rockstar Games Top Antagonist award for his performance.
The final round of the Red Hook Criterium Championship Series 2015 heads to Milan on October 10. Keep an eye on the Red Hook Crit Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for more news and updates as the series finale approaches.
Race Director David Trimble gives his customary briefing before men's qualification in the glorious Barcelona sunshine. [Photo: @strict / @eloisemavian]
Women's Race Results
1. Kacey Lloyd, US
2. Ainara Elbusto, ES
3. Gretchen Stumhofer, US
4. Alicia Gonzalez, ES
5. Ashley Faye, NL
6. Keira Mcvitty, UK
7. Marion Dziwnik, DE
8. Carla Nafria, ES
9. Kym Perfetto, US
10. Johanna Jahnke, DE
1st lap (breakfast prime): Ainara Elbusto, ES
Mid-way (dinner prime): Ainara Elbusto, ES
Fastest Lap Qualifying Time: Ainara Elbusto, ES (01:43.21)
Rockstar Games Top Antagonist: Fleur Faure, FR
Alfred Bobe Jr. returns from qualification. Having posted a time only good enough for 50th on the grid he would make up an astonishing 36 places in the feature race and finish 14th. [Photo: @strict / @eloisemavian]
Men's Race Results
1. Ivan Ravaioli, IT
2. Mario Paz Duque, CO
3. Fabio Scarazzati, IT
4. Augusto Reati, IT
5. Tim Ceresa, FR
6. Zac Felpel, US
7. Daniele Callegarin, IT
8. Andrea Vassallo, IT
9. William Randy Guzman, PR
10. Paolo Bravini, IT
1st lap (breakfast prime): Ivan Ravaioli, IT
Mid-way (dinner prime): Daniele Callegarin, IT
Fastest Lap Qualifying Time: Ivan Ravaioli, IT (01:32.29)
Rockstar Games Top Antagonist: Mario Paz Duque, CO