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L39ion again sweeps podium at USA Crits #3, Harriet Owen takes race and series lead

In women's race, L39ion's absence and Maggie Coles-Lyster's crash opens the door for InstaFund.

The third round of USA Crits in Salt Lake City, Utah, saw L39ion of Los Angeles once again go 1-2-3 across the finish line in men’s race, this time with Tyler Williams followed by Cory Williams and Justin Williams. In the women’s race, Harriet Owen (InstaFund) took the win as she did here in 2019, followed by Christina Gokey Smith (Colavita-HelloFresh) by Mia Kilburg (DNA Pro Cycling).

Justin Williams started the race in the orange series leader’s jersey, and he will start in it again tomorrow afternoon for round #4 of USA Crits.

InstaFund takes over

The women’s competition twisted and turned, with L39ion’s Skylar Schneider and Kendall Ryan not racing, the latter being called up by USA Cycling as a track alternate for the Tokyo Olympics.

That put the series leader’s jersey on DNA’s Maggie Coles-Lyster, who raced aggressively early on, snatching up points at intermediate sprints.

Just outside of 5 laps to go, however, Coles-Lyster hit the deck hard as part of a massive crash. While the other riders were able to remount their bikes, Coles-Lyster remained down on the road for a while, before being helped over to the course-side grass, her face bleeding.

The women’s field neutralized itself before the race organizers ultimately stopped and then restarted the race.

In the final laps, DNA and InstaFund wound it up and Owen muscled through the slight s-bend finishing chute with enough of a gap to sit up and celebrate before the line.

After three rounds, Owen leads the series, followed by her InstaFund teammate Rachel Langdom, and Christina Gokey Smith.

L39ion ascendent

To say everyone else is racing for second in the men’s USA Crits wouldn’t be accurate, as L39ion is not only winning the races and leading the overall series, but absolutely owning all three spots of the podium in both contests.

Two big crashes sent more than 20 people to the pits each time. There were so many riders that race officials released them back into the field in two waves.

As has happened often before, singles and pairs of riders attacked and some moves stuck for a few laps, but L39ion’s train steadily brought everything back, every time.

Towards the end, Hunter Grove, Lance Haidet and Sam Boardman did what L39ion has done to great effect at every USA Crits race: line it out and set up their teammates.

Danny Summerhill (Best Buddies) steadily worked away at establishing a healthy lead in the lap leader competition. USA Crits awards a point for the first rider to cross the line every lap. Even in the closing laps, Summerhill was sitting in amongst L39ion’s train, nosing ahead at the line to score points.

Tyler Williams punched it the closing meters to keep Justin Williams and Cory Williams at the head of affairs. He ended up getting a gap through the last corner, and when he heard his teammates yell at him, he kept his head down and powered ahead for the win.

As has become the standard photo now, three L39ion riders posted up across the line.

“We know we need to take control, but when we do is something we feel out as the races is progressing,” Tyler Williams said. “We did a really good job today. We all kinda jumped coming into the last lap. We kinda got disorganized when someone came into our train. I heard [my teammates] yell so I kept going.”

Before climbing onto the podium, Tyler Williams gave a shout out to his wife, who is at home taking care of their baby. “He’s a little sick right now,” he said. “Much love to her for supporting me. You can’t do this without the love and support of your family and friends.”

Tune in Sunday afternoon to watch round 4 of USA Crits here. Racing starts with amateur races from 8:15 a.m. MST all the way up to D1/Pro men at 2:10 p.m. and D1/Pro women at 3:25 p.m.

USA Crits #3 men’s results

Rank

Bib

Name

Affiliation

Time

Gap

Category

1

6

Tyler WILLIAMS

L39ION of Los Angeles

1:01:14.3

1:01:15

D1 Pro Men

2

2

Cory WILLIAMS

L39ION of Los Angeles

1:01:15.2

s.t.

D1 Pro Men

3

1

Justin WILLIAMS

L39ION of Los Angeles

1:01:15.3

s.t.

D1 Pro Men

4

30

Daniel ESTEVEZ

Best Buddies Racing

1:01:15.7

s.t.

D1 Pro Men

5

8

Sean MCELROY

Aevolo

1:01:15.7

s.t.

D1 Pro Men

6

10

Scott MCGILL

Aevolo

1:01:15.7

s.t.

D1 Pro Men

7

26

Michael HERNANDEZ

Best Buddies Racing

1:01:16.4

s.t.

D1 Pro Men

8

20

Thomas GIBBONS

Automatic Racing

1:01:16.5

s.t.

D1 Pro Men

9

40

Spencer MOAVENZADEH

ButcherBox Cycling

1:01:17.0

s.t.

D1 Pro Men

10

39

John HARRIS

ButcherBox Cycling

1:01:17.4

s.t.

D1 Pro Men

USA Crits #3 women’s results

Rank

Bib

Name

Affiliation

Time

Gap

Category

1

30

Harriet OWEN

InstaFund Racing

1:00:32.4

1:00:33

D1 Pro Women

2

18

Christina GOKEY-SMITH

Colavita/HelloFresh Womens Pro

1:00:32.7

s.t.

D1 Pro Women

3

25

Mia KILBURG

DNA Pro Cycling Team

1:00:32.8

s.t.

D1 Pro Women

4

58

Sofia ARREOLA

Team Twenty24

1:00:33.0

s.t.

D1 Pro Women

5

31

Rachel LANGDON

InstaFund Racing

1:00:33.2

s.t.

D1 Pro Women

6

5

Celine OBERHOLZER

ATX Wolfpack p/b Jakroo

1:00:33.7

s.t.

D1 Pro Women

7

15

Tina PIC

Colavita/HelloFresh Pro Womens

1:00:34.8

s.t.

D1 Pro Women

8

22

Kimberly LUCIE

DNA Pro Cycling Team

1:00:35.4

s.t.

D1 Pro Women

9

38

Rachel CANNING

Levine Law Group Elite Womens

1:00:35.4

s.t.

D1 Pro Women

10

55

Natalia FRANCO VILLEGAS

Team Twenty24

1:00:35.6

s.t.

D1 Pro Women