Gallery: Big stars and big prizes at first-ever Into The Lion’s Den criterium

Here's a look behind the scenes at the inaugural race of L39ion of Los Angeles' new crit series.

Downtown Sacramento played host to the first-ever Into The Lion’s Den criterium Saturday, and Olivia Ray and race host Justin Williams were the first to take the winner’s checks.

The event was the first of a new format organized by L39ion of Los Angeles as the team looks to promote inclusion in cycling with its new city- and region-based team format.

With a bank-busting $100,000 prize purse split 50-50 between the men’s and women’s races up for grabs, the race attracted an all-star startlist. Riders from L39ion and other domestic teams bumped shoulders with racers from Women’s WorldTour squads Liv Racing, DSM and SD Worx in the women’s race, while race host L39ion packed the field in the men’s.

Photographer Kit Karzen was there to capture the action.