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L39ion’s Ty Magner earns Crystal Cup victory at Armed Forces Classic

Alfredo Rodriguez and US criterium champion Danny Estevez complete the podium.

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L39ion of Los Angeles Ty Magner earned an important victory at the Crystal Cup on Saturday, in Arlington, Virginia.

The win came after L39ion’s train had lost control of the front of the field in the final laps, with only a couple of riders left to fight for the finish. Alec Cowen attacked with two laps to go, helping to bring both Magner and previous winner, Corey Williams to the front. The LA squad battled it out with Best Buddies Alfredo Rodriguez and US national criterium champion, Danny Estevez, in the final lap before Magner was able to out-sprint both to the line. 

“It’s great to get a win, this is the first race of the first block of the summer,” Magner said. “I’ve had great legs, but Corey is always very fast. He’s won here. The way we run it, whoever is in that fifth or sixth position will win the race ideally. Today I had better legs, but Corey was still in the top-five.”

Racing proved to be aggressive most of the day, as the peloton was strung out straight from the gun.  Wildlife Generation had come into the race, hoping to establish a strong breakaway. The squad arrived in Virginia shortly off a dominating win at the Walmart Joe Martin Stage Race a couple of weeks ago. Noah Granigan attempted a few attacks before his teammate, Jonny Clarke launched another that would establish the break of the day. 

Clarke had both Will Hardin (Project Echelon) and Josh Lipka (Good Guys Racing) in tow, as the trio worked together to gain up to a 21” gap ahead of the field. L39ion was happy to keep them at bay for most of the day, setting tempo with Best Buddies just behind their wheel. They would get caught within 5 to go. 

“It was fast racing all day, and then we were following moves,” Alec Cowan said. “We were happy with the break. We let them slowly die off before bringing the time back. It took a lot from a lot of our guys. Near the end we were only a couple of us left, I did what I could to bring Ty and Corey to the front.” 

It was a solid battle in the final meters between Magner and Rodriguez, with Best Buddies hoping for another shot at the finish on Sunday. 

“Things didn’t work out perfectly, but you don’t always win,” Rodriguez said. “The results are coming. We have demonstrated the potential we have, but more than anything, we are happy and enjoying the races. Tomorrow is a decisive course. It’s a long and tough race. We will do everything possible to win, hopefully finishing with a good result.”