Justin Williams put his new Legion of Los Angeles cycling team on the national radar this past weekend by winning two of three races at Oklahoma’s Tulsa Tough.

Williams, the reigning U.S. elite road racing champion, won the Blue Dome and Tulsa Arts District criteriums in convincing sprints to the line.

“Our strategy was to take the front early and try to hold it to the end—it was so fast that we had to just sit at the front, which allowed me to ride steady,” Williams said after winning the Blue Dome Criterium. “That shows a lot of maturity and patience.”

The Tulsa Tough racing weekend is comprised of three criteriums from Friday through Sunday, and the organizers award omnium points for each race that adds toward an overall total. Friday’s Blue Dome race was the fifth of 10 race dates on the USA Crits series, a national collection of major criteriums that stretches from March through August. All of the races feature an online livestream.

Williams, whose career included stops with the U.S. National Team, Trek-Livestrong, and Cylance, launched his Legion of Los Angeles team in early 2019 alongside his younger brother, Corey Williams, who formerly raced for Elevate-KHS. Upon the team’s launch, the Williams brothers said the new squad was aimed at increasing diversity in cycling. The team is comprised of seven riders: the Williams brothers, Diego Binatena, Hunter Grove, Dante Young, Sean McElroy, and Angel Munoz.

“The guys are really young and hungry—they’re out here to prove themselves and earn the respect they deserve,” Williams said after winning the Tulsa Arts District race. “There’s a chip on our shoulders.”

Williams’s two victories placed him in the ominum lead heading into Sunday’s River Parks Criterium, which features the steep climb of Crybaby Hill. The race saw a long breakaway, with Sam Bassetti (Elevate-KHS) riding into a four-man breakaway that went to the line. Bassetti, who finished second to Williams in the two previous criteriums, won the sprint, which placed him ahead of Williams in the final omnium standings with 85 points to Williams’s 73 points.

After the victory, Bassetti said the plan was to attack off the front.

“We wanted to get off the front and really put pressure on Justin,” Bassetti said. “He’s faster than me but I’m a little bit stronger than him, and the plan was to put pressure on him.”

In the women’s ominum Samantha Schneider of the CWA Racing/Trek team took the overall omnium title after winning the Blue Dome criterium and finishing third in the Tulsa Arts criterium.

Schneider has now won the Blue Dome criterium three times.

“I love the vibe. I love the atmosphere,” Schneider told the Tulsa World after her win. “Tulsa is one of the best races on the calendar, hands down.”

 

2019 Tulsa Tough Results

Blue Dome Criterium

Men

  1. Justin Williams, Legion of Los Angeles
  2. Sam Bassetti, Elevate-KHS
  3. Jose Alfredo Rodriguez, Elevate-KHS

Women

  1. Samantha Schneider, CWA Racing/Trek
  2. Skylar Schneider, Boels-Dolmans
  3. Harriet Owen, Hagens Berman-Supermint

Tulsa Arts Criterium

Men

  1. Justin Williams, Legion of Los Angeles
  2. Sam Bassetti, Elevate-KHS
  3. Jose Alfredo Rodriguez, Elevate-KHS

Women

  1. Peta Mullens, Roxsolt Attaquer
  2. Josie Talbot, Roxsolt Attaquer
  3. Samantha Schneider, CWA Racint/Trek

River Parks Criterium

Men

  1. Sam Bassetti, Elevate-KHS
  2. Sean McElroy, Legion of Los Angeles
  3. Tanner Ward

Women

  1. Emily Roper, Roxsolt Attaquer
  2. Justin Barrow, Roxsolt Attaquer
  3. Beck Wiasak

Final Omnium Standings

Men

  1. Sam Bassetti, Elevate-KHS, 85 points
  2. Justin Williams, Legion of Los Angeles, 73 points
  3. Scott McGill, Gateway Devo, 56 points

Women

  1. Samantha Schneider, CWA Racing/Trek, 67 points
  2. Peta Mullens, Roxsolt Attaquer, 65 points
  3. Skylar Schneider, Boels-Dolmans, 58 points