Kendall Ryan (L39ion) made Saturday’s victory at the Salt Lake City Criterium look painless after a frustrating last weekend in Boise, Idaho — when the US criterium champion was left seething after a near crash on the final turn took her out of contention.
Canadian crit champion Maggie Coles-Lyster finished second and Sky Schneider, last week’s winner in Boise, finished third after an aggressive hour-long race in downtown Salt Lake City, the sixth stop on the American Criterium Cup.
“I was really happy to finish the race again. Unscathed, no crashes on our part,” Ryan said after the race. “Today, we just wanted to throw on another clinic and teach people how to corner really fast. There were little heated conversations and words said during the race that were not very nice from other riders. So, I just wanted to give them a shout-out. This win’s for you. Other than that? My team is awesome. And the crowds here were really awesome. Thank you for cheering super loud.”
With seven laps to go, Paige Kostanecki (ButcherBox), Natalie Quinn, and Schneider (L39ion) found themselves off the front in the day’s biggest move. The gap continued to grow, which put all teams under pressure, while ButcherBox and L39ion were sitting pretty.
The move set up L39ion perfectly, who had DNA Racing, and Colavita shut it down on the final lap. From there, the L39ion train took over and Ryan showed her rivals some massive daylight when she kicked her sprint into high gear, winning by a significant margin.
L39ion men sweep top five
In the men’s race, the story went the same way, with L39ion stacking the top five after a nervous hour-long race. Ty Magner celebrated an easy win with four teammates posting up behind in a display of absolute domination.
“Well, first of all, we went 1-2-3-4-5, I think,” Magner said. “That’s unheard of. So that just tells you the true depth of our team. We just played it to perfection today. I was just lucky enough to have the legs to go to the line first.”
After numerous attacks that quickly ran out of steam, the most dangerous move went in the latter part of the race, when powerhouses Frank Treviso (Miami Blazers), Xander White (CS Velo), Ama Nsek (Best Buddies), and Jack Shuckra (Empyr Cycling) took off with L39ion’s Tyler Williams.
What looked like a sure-fire situation for the break didn’t seem certain with four to go when L39ion came to the front and made a steady effort to reel in the breakaway. Later, Magner said that his teammate Tyler Williams said he wasn’t confident heading into the sprint from the break – and asked his team to set the reset button for a bunch gallop.
It was Best Buddies, then Project Echelon, who took to the front in the countdown to the finish but was the L39ion show on the final lap, and Williams still had the legs to lead out Magner for the win and still finish in second place.
“So, we just showed everybody we can race for it and not disrupt the front today, which is always fun,” Magner said.
DNA Racing’s Lyster still leads the sprint classification for the women and the series overall, as does Brandon Feehery of Project Echelon for the men. Both are outright leaders after stop number six of the American Criterium Cup.
Next up, the American Criterium Cup heads to Chicago, Illinois, for the Intelligentsia Cup on July 30.