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Justin Williams, Harriet Owen, take USA Crits #4

Williams, Owen control series lead heading into Audi Denver Littleton Twilight on July 31.

Harriet Owen (InstaFund) notched her second win in as many days in Salt Lake City, winning round #4 of USA Crits with a bike throw over Mia Kilburg (DNA Pro Cycling). In the men’s race, Justin Williams (L39ion of Los Angeles) continued his team’s perfect record in the series and extended his lead in the overall standings.

Salt Lake Holladay was the second of two USA Crits races in the Utah capital this past weekend. While Salt Lake Gateway was a flat affair with some tight corners and a few crashes, Salt Lake Holladay was a wide-open triangle with a healthy rise on the backside.

DNA Pro Cycling leads the team competition after four rounds.

Owen said the Holladay course was more like a circuit race than a criterium, and with the highway-width road riders could move up without space limitations from the course. The last corner was more than 400m from the finish line on Holladay Boulevard.

Indeed, several small moves went, often individual riders, but were quickly brought back as the peloton never had to touch the brakes through the enormously wide corners.

At the end, it was a long drag race to the line, and Owen took the win with a head-down bike throw.

Despite winning the sprint on Saturday night, Owen said she tried to get into a break on Sunday.

“I tried early on to see if people wanted to play with me in a breakway, but no one wanted to play,” Owen said. “So I just sat in and tried to be patient for the sprint. But when it’s 13-wide, you really have to fight for your position.”

Owen’s teammate Rachel Langdon snatched up 22 points by winning the first two points sprints (10×2), and getting 2 points in the last one at 5 laps to go. She scored more points with her third-place finish behind Owen and Kilburg. Because her efforts, Langdon ultimately tied Owen on series points at 959. Since Owen won the fourth race, she was given the lead and kept the series jersey.

DNA Pro Cycling kept its lead in the team competition.

Active racing in the men’s contest

Justin Williams wins USA Crits #4 ahead of Thomas Gibbons and Travis McCabe.

Early in the men’s race, Gage Hecht (Aevolo) attacked on the hill with Ian Anderson (Space City Development), and Danny Summerhill (Best Buddies) latching on. The trio formed a successful breakaway that held a sizable gap. After about 10 minutes off the front, Anderson fell off the pace while Hecht and Summerhill motored on.

In the field, L39ion took up its now-expected role to keep a leash on the break. On this particular afternoon, even Cory Williams took some pulls; usually he is a protected rider for the sprint.

Summerhill came into the fourth round with the Lap Leader jersey, and his time off the front only padded his lead in that competition. (USA Crits gives riders a point for the first rider to cross the line on every lap.)

At 21 laps to go, Hecht’s Aevolo teammate Tyler Stites bridged up to the breakaway.

But after more than 20 minutes clear, the breakaway was swallowed up with 19 laps to go.

While points available are greatest for the finish, the three mid-race sprints offer 10, 7, 5, 3, and 2 points. Sunday’s race saw many of men in the top-10 overall contesting the mid-race sprints, particularly the first two, which were won by Justin Williams and Thomas Gibbons (Automatic), respectively.

At 13 laps to go, a break went clear containing L39ion’s Tyler Williams, who sat on with his team leader Justin Williams behind in the group. That move was caught at 10 laps to go.

In the closing laps, the fight for position got heated, and Summerhill and Cory Williams were bumping elbows and arguing with 3 laps to go.

Best Buddies took control of the pace with 2 to go, but then it was Cory Williams coming through the line at the bell lap.

Inside the last half-lap, riders were sprinting up the hill on the backside to establish position for the downhill leading into the last sweeping corner for the wide-open finishing straight.

In contrast to past USA Crits races where L39ion did a full leadout, Justin Williams did not have an armchair ride to the last 150 meters. He wasn’t fazed. He jumped out of the draft of other riders in the final meters and forced open enough of a gap to sit up before the line.

Justin Williams leads the USA Crits series with 994 points, ahead of Gibbons (909), Tyler Williams (897), Cory Williams (780), and Conor Mullervy (767).

The next stop for the series is the Audi Denver Littleton Twilight Criterium on July 31. Tune in then for the livestream on VeloNews and Peloton.

USA Crits #4 women’s results

Rank Bib Name Affiliation Time Gap Category
1 30 Harriet OWEN InstaFund Racing 57:28.0 57:28 D1 Pro Women
2 25 Mia KILBURG DNA Pro Cycling Team 57:28.0 s.t. D1 Pro Women
3 31 Rachel LANGDON InstaFund Racing 57:28.5 s.t. D1 Pro Women
4 27 Matilda RAYNOLDS Fearless Femme Racing 57:28.5 s.t. D1 Pro Women
5 44 Holly BRECK Rally Cycling 57:28.6 s.t. D1 Pro Women
6 58 Sofia ARREOLA Team Twenty24 57:28.8 s.t. D1 Pro Women
7 35 Ava HACHMANN Levine Law Group Elite Womens 57:28.9 s.t. D1 Pro Women
8 5 Celine OBERHOLZER ATX Wolfpack p/b Jakroo 57:29.0 s.t. D1 Pro Women
9 15 Tina PIC Colavita/HelloFresh Pro Womens 57:29.1 s.t. D1 Pro Women
10 2 Jane TULLIS Aminorip/ExtraSweet 57:29.2 s.t. D1 Pro Women

USA Crits #4 men’s results

Rank Bib Name Affiliation Time Gap Category
1 1 Justin WILLIAMS L39ION of Los Angeles 1:10:39.9 1:10:40 D1 Pro Men
2 20 Thomas GIBBONS Automatic Racing 1:10:40.1 s.t. D1 Pro Men
3 29 Travis MCCABE Best Buddies Racing 1:10:40.1 s.t. D1 Pro Men
4 45 Andrew GINIAT CS Velo Racing 1:10:40.2 s.t. D1 Pro Men
5 10 Scott MCGILL Aevolo 1:10:40.4 s.t. D1 Pro Men
6 15 Sebastian CANO Aminorip Factory Racing 1:10:40.8 s.t. D1 Pro Men
7 98 Conor MULLERVY Team CLIF Bar Cycling 1:10:40.8 s.t. D1 Pro Men
8 104 Josh CARLING Voler Factory Team p/b OVCB 1:10:41.3 s.t. D1 Pro Men
9 44 Sean BURGER CS Velo Racing 1:10:41.3 s.t. D1 Pro Men
10 8 Sean MCELROY Aevolo 1:10:41.3 s.t. D1 Pro Men