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In front of a raucous evening crowd in Athens, Georgia, L39ion of Los Angeles’ Skylar Schneider and Tyler Williams took the wins in hectic races where breaks lapped the field and the uphill ramp to the start/finish eliminated scores of riders.
Maggie Coles-Lyster (DNA Pro) and Rachel Langdon (InstaFund) were second and third in the women’s race, while Danny Summerhill (Best Buddies) and Robigzon Oyola (Medellin EPM) rounded out the men’s podium.
Schneider doubles down
Skylar Schneider sprinted into the first corner of the first lap in Athens, and was soon off the front with four other women. It was a portent of how the rest of the evening would go.
Schneider’s L39ion teammate Kendall Ryan soon bridged up, and did a few other riders. Soon, a break of seven had established itself, and lapped the field at about the 30-minute mark.
Ryan wasted no time in driving right past the field, and Schneider springboarded off her teammate’s effort to instigate yet another break, which included most of the riders from the first break, including Langdon and Coles-Lyster.
With a solo Olivia Ray (Rally Cycling) about to make contact, Langdon went to the front and effectively lead out the long sprint.
Schneider easily took the win over her breakmates for her second win in as many nights.
Langdon leads the individual points competition heading into the final two rounds in El Paso and Winston-Salem.
L39ion stacks the breaks
L39ion of Los Angeles, the hands-down dominant USA CRITS team, came into Athens with five riders, including local Ty Magner. The team plan was to get a win for Magner, and they nearly pulled it off.
As in the women’s race, the race action was rapid and quickly changing, with breaks lapping the field and more than 100 riders ultimately being pulled from contention.
The first move to go clear has three L39ion riders in the six-man break: Williams, Alec Cowan, and Eder Frayer. They lapped the field, while a second break containing Magner and five others went clear and ultimately lapped the quickly dwindling field too.
L39ion remained aggressive, particularly with Frayer who kept attacking and marking moves. Soon, Frayer, Williams, Cowan, Spencer Moavenzadeh (ButcherBox) and Oyola were clear. With 9 laps to go, Frayer attacked solo, but crashed himself in the final corner.
With 3 to go the break was caught, and with a lap and a half to go Cowan set himself up on the front of the now-quite-small field with Williams and Magner right behind.
As Cowan swung off for the final lap, Williams realized Magner was no longer right on his wheel and so he drifted back. Moavenzadeh took to the front and led it into the final corner.
Williams powered up the final straightaway to take the win, followed by Summerhill and Oyola. Magner was fifth.
Williams leads the individual points competition.
“I want to thank everyone for coming out,” Williams said to the crowd at the finish. “This was the best crowd of the year, and that’s tough to do. We wanted this one for Ty, so we were trying our best to set it up for him. But in the end, it came down to getting the job done. I just got the lucky job of getting it done today.”
The last two USA CRITS races are in Sept. 11 in El Paso and Sept. 24 in Winston-Salem.