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Skylar Schneider, Cory Williams win USA Crits round five for L39ion

L39ion of Los Angeles continues dominance at Littleton Twilight Criterium.

On a rain-soaked course in the dark, L39ion of Los Angeles scored wins in both the women’s and the men’s D1/Pro races at round 5 of USA Crits in Littleton, Colorado.

Skylar Schneider won the women’s race and Cory Williams took the honors in the men’s contest.

Racing without teammates, Skylar Schneider (L39ion) took the sprint win after a last-lap crash scrambled the field. It was her third USA Crits win in as many starts, as she had skipped rounds 3 and 4 in Salt Lake City.

Schneider took the win over Olivia Cummins (Lux-Sideshow-Specialized) and series leader Harriet Owen (InstaFund).

Schneider was aggressive literally from the gun, getting into a two-woman move with Rachel Langdon, who started the evening tied for first with InstaFund teammate Owen.

The duo were caught after a few laps, and the rain temporarily stopped. Langdon stayed aggressive, taking points sprints at 5 laps in and the mid-race point.

In the closing laps, Rally’s Katie Clouse and Madeline Bemis took the reins at the front for their sprinter Olivia Ray, who came into Littleton fresh off a trio of victories at Intelligentsia Cup.

With the rain and the pace picking up, a few riders went down in the second-to-last corner. Celine Oberholzer (ATX Wolfpack-Jackroo) in the Best Young Rider jersey was among those caught up in the crash.

Ahead, Schneider opened up her sprint and kept her USA Crits streak alive.

L39ion of Los Angeles has won every single USA Crits men’s event in 2021, and leads the team competition, too. Photo: Connor Ryan/USA Crits

Men’s race shatters from the start

The men’s race kicked off just after 9 p.m., with a steady rain soaking the 126 riders and the course.

Cory Williams went straight to the front on the first lap with his brother Justin Williams in the series leader’s jersey right behind him.

The aggressive pace and the rain meant the field splintered almost immediately. Two front groups of about 15 riders each eventually coalesced at the front, while smaller groups behind chased desperately to rejoin.

They would never make it back on.

In fact, more riders were pulled from the race than finished. A chase group of about 30 riders was all that remained on course behind the small front group, and even those 30 were nearly caught at the finish.

A few teams took flyers, trying to break L39ion’s stranglehold on the series. Butcherbox sent riders up the road, and even Thomas Gibbons, second overall in the series, took a flyer after his team did some work late in the race.

Cory Williams takes the win in Littleton. Photo: Connor Ryan/USA Crits

But in the end it was all together, and the small front group wound it up to 30mph in the closing laps.

In the late-night sprint in the rain across the line, it was Cory Williams followed by Gibbons and Tyler Williams (L39ion).

Thus far, L39ion’s men are a perfect five for five at the USA Crits series. The next stop in the 10-race series is Birmingham, Alabama.

VeloNews will post results as soon as they are available.