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Ganzar and Magner grab U.S. criterium national titles

Ty Magner and Leigh Ann Ganzar won their respective USPRO Criterium championships titles on Friday night.

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Leigh Ann Ganzar edged out Kelly Catlin to win the 2018 USPRO Criterium title. Photo: Casey B. Gibson|

Leigh Ann Ganzar (Wolfpack p/b Hyperthreads) and Ty Magner (Rally Cycling) won their respective Stars and Stripes jerseys Friday night in the U.S. Professional Criterium Championships in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Riding for a small Domestic Elite team from Texas, the 29-year-old Ganzar surprised the star-studded women’s field to win the 75-minute contest, crossing the line just ahead of Kelly Catlin (Rally Cycling). Two seconds behind the duo would find Jennifer Luebke (Hagens Berman/Supermint) finishing for the bronze medal.

“Elation! It’s really unbelievable,” exclaimed Ganzar, who came from a running background at Baylor University and began road racing four years ago. “A couple of weeks ago at OKC Pro-Am I actually won. It was kind of the same move, attack on the penultimate lap and then hold it. So when the opportunity struck again on this course, I went for it. And so, when the time struck, I made a move and was kind of in shock to hold on.”

U.S. pro women’s criterium nationals, top 10

  • 1. Leigh Ann Ganzar, Wolfpack P/B Hyperthreads
  • 2. Kelly Catlin, Rally Cycling
  • 3. Jennifer Luebke, Hagens Berman-Supermint
  • 4. Emma White, Rally Cycling
  • 5. Coryn Rivera, Team Sunweb
  • 6. Skylar Schneider, Boels Dolmans Cycling Team
  • 7. Samantha Schneider, Iscorp Pro Cycling
  • 8. Kendall Ryan, Team Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank
  • 9. Christina Gokey-Smith, Colavita|Bialetti Racing
  • 10. Lily Williams, Hagens Berman-Supermint

Magner Takes Men’s Title

Ty Magner celebrated his win at the 2018 USPRO Criterium championships. Photo: Casey B. Gibson |

The overcast skies and light showers gave way to some blue skies as the pro men took the course Friday night for a 90-minute battle on the 1.1-mile, a six-turn circuit in downtown Knoxville. It would be Magner emerging from a three-man sprint for the national title. His teammate Eric Young would secure second, followed by Sam Bassetti (Elevate-KHS Pro Cycling) in third.

“I am from Georgia, so this feels like a home race,” said the 27-year-old Magner, a sprint specialist who was third in this event last year. “That was probably one of the sketchiest group sprints I have done in a long time. The roads are super wide and it was super fast all the way into that last lap.”

The final burst of speed on the final lap was made by Brad Huff for Rally Cycling, giving way in the end to teammates Magner and Young. Breaking up any chance of a Rally sweep was Bassetti.

“It felt great out there. My team took care of all the hard racing before the end. I just really spent the race hanging out in the field, and enjoying the crowd,” said Bassetti, who has had a number of big wins this season, including criterium wins at Saint Francis Tulsa Tough and Redlands Bicycle Classic, part of the USA Cycling Pro Road Tour. “It felt really fast. It’s a course where you can keep attacking and being aggressive. It’s really hard to control.

“On Sunday it’s a very different race, but I have been successful in races like that this year. I’m really looking forward to Sunday. I think it’s a good course for me and a good course for Elevate.”

U.S. pro men’s criterium nationals, top 10

  • 1. Tyler Magner, Rally Cycling
  • 2. Eric Young, Rally Cycling
  • 3. Samuel Bassetti, Elevate-Khs Pro Cycling
  • 4. Michael Hernandez, Aevolo Cycling
  • 5. Noah Granigan, CCB Foundation – Sicleri
  • 6. Kent Ross, Hedrick Racing
  • 7. Eric Brunner, 303 Project
  • 8. Quinten Kirby, Marc Pro Cycling Team
  • 9. Lance Haidet, Aevolo Cycling
  • 10. Scott Mcgill, Gateway Harley-Davidson/Trek

Sunday, June 24, brings the signature event, the U.S. Pro Road Race Championship, back to Knoxville for a second consecutive year. Using a new start/finish on the popular South Gay Street corridor of Knoxville, the 2018 edition will include a return to Sherrod Road on each lap for climbing. The Pro Women will make nine laps for a total of 72 miles, and the Pro Men will race 15 laps for a total of 120 miles. Both races will be available to stream on the Velonews website.