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Kendall Ryan, Danny Summerhill take USA Crits Round 6

Ryan keeps the L39ion machine rolling in the women's race, but Summerhill takes the first non-L39ion win at USA Crits all year.

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The 2021 USA Crits script was flipped in the men’s Round 6 race in Birmingham, Alabama, where Danny Summerhill (Best Buddies) and Spencer Moavenzadeh (ButcherBox) were able to get a break to stick to the end. In the women’s race, Kendall Ryan returned from the Tokyo Olympics to jump clear of the field in the last lap for another commanding win for L39ion of Los Angeles.

In the women’s contest, several breaks came and went, with a ButcherBox and Colavita duo looking promising in the closing laps.

But Ryan, racing in her U.S. national champion kit, was not to be denied. Instead of waiting for another team to close the gap in the hopes of a sprint, Ryan took things into her own hands, and simply outpowered the field.

Harriet Owen (InstaFund Racing) and Maggie Coles-Lyster (DNA Pro Cycling) rounded out the podium.

Photo: Connor Ryan/USA Crits

In the men’s race, one big story was the absence of USA Crits series leader Justin Williams and his brother Cory Williams for L39ion. In their place was another set of brothers, Ama and Imeh Nsek.

Unlike past USA Crits events where L39ion ruled the front with an iron fist, a number of breakaways went clear throughout the event.

Sitting just a handful of points out of the overall lead, Thomas Gibbons of Automatic Racing and his team were aggressive. When Gibbons missed a move six riders of so, he went to the front of the pack himself to bring it back.

A hefty crash split the field as it tried to chase back on.

In the dwindling laps, Summerhill and Moavenzadeh launched clear, and the field didn’t immediately react. With 5 laps to go they had a lead of about 13 seconds.

Summerhill and Moavenzadeh on the attack. Photo: Connor Ryan/USA Crits

In the final lap Moavenzadeh attacked Summerhill, but the Best Buddies rider was about to claw back on, and coming out of the final corner Summerhill had enough in the tank to easily take the win.

Ty Magner took the field sprint for third for L39ion.

“That was something,” Summerhill said at the finish. “It’s been quite a while since anyone’s done that.”

Summerhill said that the race felt chaotic.

“I haven’t been in a USA Crits race yet that felt like that,” he said.”There were changing riders at the front of the race all night long. That was atypical, considering what L39ion has been doing all season.”

She who wins takes the hammer at the Birmingham Hammerfest. Photo: Connor Ryan/USA Crits