Bakelants begins road to recovery, BMC hunts China success: Daily News Digest

by Shane Stokes

October 17, 2017

Bakelants surgery successful: ‘The road to recovery will be long, but I can start it’ ; BMC Racing Team chasing late-season success in Tour of Guangxi; WorldTour winner: Cortina (Bahrain-Merida) takes Red Hook Crit debut in Milan; Ed Sheeran breaks arm in cycling accident, reportedly hit by a car; Prison sentence given to father of rider who deliberately caused others to crash; Hansen threatened with deportation from Europe; Siggaard signs contract for another year with Team Virtu; Watch live streaming of 2018 Tour de France presentation on Tuesday; Video: Cippo di Carpegna (Pantani’s Climb) with Davide Cassani – Cycling Inspiration & Education

WorldTour winner: Cortina (Bahrain-Merida) takes Red Hook Crit debut in Milan

by Dan Chabanov

Ivan Cortina (Bahrain-Merida) thrilled the Italian crowds in his Red Hook Crit debut.

The fourth and final round of the Red Hook Criterium Championship series, held in Milan Saturday, saw two new winners emerge. Maria Sperotto (Bepink-Cogeas) and Ivan Cortina (Bahrain-Merida) claimed surprising victories. Both riders race with UCI WorldTour teams, both are quite young — 20 and 21, respectively — and both were competing in their Red Hook Crit debuts.

Eight years ago, Milan was the first Red Hook Criterium event outside of its namesake Brooklyn neighbourhood, and over that time that the Italian cycling culture has embraced the event. The crowds were out in full force in the Milan neighbourhood of Bovisa, with fans packing in along the course, as well as on neighbouring balconies, roofs, and walls.

The 1.2km track in Milan is unique as it’s the only one of the four-event series that is still laid out on city streets and not on a purpose-built track. There are no hairpins on the Milan circuit, but the narrow streets, tight sight lines, and nine high-speed corners all play a part in testing the athletes.

In the women’s race, Sperotto, 2o, overhauled Raphaele Lemieux (Team iBike) and Elena Valentini (Brianza Squadra Corse) through the final corner to win her first Red Hook Crit event. Behind her, Eléonore Saraiva of Aventon Factory Team finished fifth to clinch the 2017 Red Hook Crit series title.

In the men’s race, Cortina, the 21-year-old Spaniard, who finished the Vuelta a España last month, followed first-lap prime winner Alessandro Mariani (IRD Carrera Squadra Corse) and never looked back. The duo managed to pull their gap out to 30 seconds before the end of the race with Cortina overhauling the Italian on the last lap to win.

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