July 24, 2017 (London, England) – Eléonore Saraiva (Aventon Factory Team), our series leader, lead the women’s final off the line. She was quickly overtaken by Canadian Raphaele Lemieux (Team iBike), who would go on to take the 1st lap prime.
Justifiably all eyes were on pre-race favorite Dani King (Cylance Pro Cycling), who was slightly gapped off the wheel, perhaps not ready to commit on the wet circuit fully. King bounced back quickly and as expected took position near the front of the race along with Lemieux and Saraiva.
Erath took over tempo duties on the front of the field to try and keep the Rockstar Games Top Antagonist skin suit on her back for another race. King attacked no less than four times, but unlike last year the favorites were able to match her accelerations. King’s attacks would stretch out the field, but they could not shake Dotti, Nafria, Saraiva, and Lemieux. In the closing laps, Gulick made her presence felt at the front as King started to get swarmed.
On the last lap, Lemieux attacked through the chicane once again to get a gap that she was able to hold to the line. Behind her, Saraiva pipped Dotti to round out the podium with Gulick holding off King who managed fifth.
In 2016 Lemieux was Quebec Master Women’s Crit champ, she was third on the women’s podium at the Criterium National, she took the iBike women’s title and won her division at the Mardis Cycliste – read more here.
The men’s field attacked the first lap with several riders contesting the first lap prime which would go to Marius Petrache (Intelligentsia Racing). The early pace was set by Eamon Lucas (Specialized / Rocket Espresso), who was controlling the field until his teammate and series leader Stefan Schafer could make his way to the front. Schafer flatted two laps later and was out of the race. Lucas kept setting tempo on the front seemingly unaware that his teammate was out with a flat.
Things would get worse for the Specialized / Rocket Espresso team when a few laps later Alec Briggs also flatted. Briggs was however quick on his feet and grabbed a teammates bike from the sidelines to continue racing. The flat had still cost him 15 seconds.
Once racing resumed, Lucas reappeared on the front of the race and continued collecting points towards the Rockstar Games Top Antagonist award. While he rode tempo on the front, Colin Strickland (Intelligentsia Racing) slowly made his way up to the front of the field. The steady tempo also allowed Briggs to get back to the lead group finally.
With nine laps to go attacks started flying from all the favorites. First Petrache, then Vigano took turns trying to break the field. Both were chased down by Giovanni Longo (Team Bahumer) trying to keep the race together for his teammate Fortin.
Strickland made his bid for glory with three laps to go. Vigano and Fortin instantly marked his move, but Strickland kept the pressure on hoping to either crack his rivals or force a mistake. He got a small gap going into the last lap, but it was not enough to hold off Fortin and Vigano, who was able to jump past Strickland to take first and second. A resurgent Briggs would take 3rd in a close sprint with Strickland, and Giovanni Longo would hang on for 5th.
1. Raphaele Lemieux (Can) Team iBike
2. Eleonore Saraiva (Fra) Aventon Factory Team
3. Jasmine Dotti (Ita) IRD Carrera Squadra Corse
4. Colleen Gulick (USA) Deluxe Cycles
5. Dani King (Gbr) Unattached
6. Poppy Thompson (Gbr) Unattached
7. Corinne Casati (Ita) The Fridge Foundation
8. Juliet Elliott (Gbr) ASSOS
9. Lena Vogl (Den) Maloja Pushbikers Fem
10. Lisa Worner (Ned) Fixedgearcrit.com
Full results here.
1. Filippo Fortin (Ita) Team Bahumer
2. Davide Vigano (Ita) Team Cinelli Chrome
3. Alec Briggs (Gbr) Specialized / Rocket Espresso
4. Colin Strickland (USA) Intelligentsia Racing
5. Giovanni Longo (Ita) Team Bahumer
6. Martino Poccianti (Ita) Cykeln Divisione Corse
7. Marius Petrache(Rom) Intelligentsia Racing
8. Robin Gemperle (Sui) Stanridge Cycles
9. Daniele Callegarin (Ita) IRD Carrera Squadra Corse
10. Tim Ceresa (Fra) 8Bar Team
Full results here.