The 2022 American Criterium Cup kicked off in Anniston, AL with the Sunny King Criterium. It was a chilly day that began at 10am with twenty-one races on a challenging .7-mile course. The final two races of the day set the stage for the 2022 American Criterium Cup series with the pro women’s and men’s races.
Windy conditions for the women’s pro/1/2 race made for an interesting start. Teams had to adjust their strategy and took turns driving the pace at the front for the first half of the race. During the second half, we saw L39ION of Los Angeles push the pace along with Maggie Coles-Lyster of DNA Pro Cycling Team and riders from Colavita-Factor Pro Cycling. In the final uphill straight, Alexis Ryan of L39ION of Los Angeles gave Skylar Schneider the perfect lead out for her sprint finish for the win, followed by Coles-Lyster and Alexis Ryan to complete the podium.
“Anniston is one of our favorite cities to race in and we were really happy to be here,” said Skylar Schneider of L39ION of Los Angeles. “We had to change our original team plan about halfway through the race as the wind was stronger than we anticipated, making a breakaway nearly impossible. It feels great to pull of the win and get to wear the crown!”
Tanner Ward of Best Buddies Racing lined up to defend the crown for the men’s pro/1 race, along with a strong field, including L39ION of Los Angeles, Project Echelon, and the AUTOMATIC | ABUS Racing team to name a few. The men’s race started just as the sun was setting with a crash a few laps in that neutralized the race. After the restart, we saw strong efforts from Best Buddies Racing and Project Echelon to drive the pace, shedding riders off the back. None of the teams could make a breakaway stick, ending in a sprint finish with Alfredo Rodriguez of Best Buddies Racing on the top step, followed by an impressive comeback for Thomas Gibbons of AUTOMATIC | ABUS Racing taking 2nd after getting caught up in the early crash, and Ty Magner of L39ION of Los Angeles in 3rd.
“I am excited to win the first event in the American Criterium Cup for Best Buddies Racing, Mike Hernandez and our Director Thomas Craven have really made this team feel special…like a family, said Rodriguez of Best Buddies Racing. “I am looking forward to racing the rest of the series and every other race that we can get to during the rest of the season with these guys.”
Women’s Pro/1/2 Sunny King Criterium Top 10:
Full women’s race results can be found HERE.
Men’s Pro/1/2 Sunny King Criterium Top 10:
Full men’s race results can be found HERE.