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Langdon and Gibbons wrap up titles for USA CRITS series in Winston-Salem

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Top three individual women at 2021 USA CRITS, first place Rachel Langdon

2021 USA CRITS overall leader podium - second place Maggie Coles-Lyster (DNA Pro Cycling), winner Rachel Langdon (Instafund Racing), fourth place Tina Pic (Colavita/Hello Fresh) (Image credit: Connor Ryan/USA CRITS)
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Thomas Gibbons wins overall title at 2021 USA CRITS

2021 USA CRITS overall leader podium for men: second place Michael Hernandez (Best Buddies Racing), winner Thomas Gibbons (Automatic Racing), Conor Mullervy (Team Clif Bar) (Image credit: Connor Ryan/USA CRITS)
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Overall women's teams for 2021 USA CRITS, first place DNA Pro Cycling

Top D-1 women's teams at 2021 USA CRITS, top spot won by DNA Pro Cycling (Image credit: Connor Ryan/USA CRITS)
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Overall men's teams for 2021 USA CRITS, top team Best Buddies

Top D-1 men's teams at 2021 USA CRITS, top spot taken by Best Buddies Racing (Image credit: Connor Ryan/USA CRITS)
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Ama Nsak (L39ION of Los Angeles) wins finals race of 2021 USA CRITS at Winston-Salem Cycling Classic

Ama Nsek (L39ION of Los Angeles) wins USA CRITS Finals at Winston-Salem Cycling Classic (Image credit: Connor Ryan/USA CRITS)
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Erica Clevenger (DNA Pro Cycling) wins final race of 2021 USA CRITS at Winston-Salem Cycling Classic

Erica Clevenger (DNA Pro Cycling) wins USA CRITS Finals at Winston-Salem Cycling Classic (Image credit: Connor Ryan/USA CRITS)
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Women's podium for USA CRITS Final at Winston-Salem Cycling Classic

Podium for USA CRITS Finals in Winston-Salem D-1 women: second place Maggie Coles-Lyster (DNA Pro Cycling), winner Erica Clevenger (DNA Pro Cycling), third place Kaitlyn Agnew (ATX Wolfpack p/b Jakroo) (Image credit: Connor Ryan/USA CRITS)
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Podium for USA CRITS Finals at Winston-Salem Cycling Classic

Podium for USA CRITS Finals in Winston-Salem D-1 women: second place Thomas Gibbons (Automatic Racing), winner Ama Nsek (L39ION of LA), third place Michael Hernandez (Best Buddies Racing) (Image credit: Connor Ryan/USA CRITS)

Erica Clevenger (DNA Pro Cycling) won the opening night of the Winston-Salem Cycling Classic for Division 1 women and Ama Nsek (L39ION of Los Angeles) took the victory on the men’s side to wrap up the 10-race USA CRITS series on Saturday.

The overall series titles were sewn up by Rachel Langdon (Instafund Racing) for the women and Thomas Gibbons (Automatic Cycling) for the men in North Carolina this weekend. The Winston-Salem Cycling Classic, which moved from an early summer slot in the calendar to the fall, offered several days of criterium racing, with the Saturday night contests serving as the USA CRITS Finals to decide overall winners in individual and team competitions.

With 12 laps to go in the Winston-Salem women’s contest, Clevenger accelerated to launch a solo effort that took her to her first win of the season. Her teammate, Maggie Coles-Lyster, won the field sprint for second place with Kaitlyn Agnew (ATX Wolfpack p/b Jakroo) in third.

Nsak was the only rider in the field for the L39ION of Los Angeles squad and the Canadian took care of business riding away from USA CRITS series leaders Thomas Gibbons (Automatic Cycling) and Michael Hernandez (Best Buddies Racing), second and third, respectively, to earn his fourth win in the series.

DNA Pro Cycling was one of the more dominant women’s teams for the season, taking the overall title as the top women’s team and Coles-Lyster winning the best young rider category.

"We came in looking for the win, this was our final big race of the year, so we didn't want to finish thinking we could have done more. We know we have a strong team, but we also know that we can't win unless we work together - so this is a team effort,” said Clevenger. “I was solo and digging hard to get out of sight around the next corner, but I had a lot of confidence because I knew that even if I blew up and was caught, Maggie was back there and could get the win. We ended up going 1-2, which is really the finish you talk about if everything goes perfectly."

Consistency was the name of the game in winning the USA CRITS titles. For Langdon, who had 21 top 10s across the US this season, including eight of the 10 USA CRITS events, and won the title without taking a race victory. It was the second overall title in the national series for Gibbons, who owns and operates the Automatic Cycling squad. He had four podiums in USA CRITS events, but no individual victories.

Crowned as Lap Leaders in the series were Julie Kuliecza (ATX Wolfpack p/b Jakroo) and Danny Summerhill (Best Buddies Racing). Joining Coles-Lyster (DNA Pro Cycling) as the best young rider was Hernandez on the men’s side. Best Buddies Racing was the best overall team for the men. 

With most of the stage races and UCI one-day races cancelled across North America this year, many US domestic teams refocused on the full calendar of criteriums for offered by the USA CRITS series. The series began June 11 at Saint Francis Tulsa Tough, offering 10 races in nine cities across nine states. All races were streamed live at no cost to viewers.

Jackie has been involved in professional sports for more than 30 years in news reporting, sports marketing and public relations. She founded Peloton Sports in 1998, a sports marketing and public relations agency, which managed projects for Tour de Georgia, Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah and USA Cycling. She also founded Bike Alpharetta Inc, a Georgia non-profit to promote safe cycling for people of all abilities and ages. Tyson has been recognized for communications excellence with 10 Phoenix Awards, presented by the Georgia Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America. She is proud to have worked in professional baseball for six years - from selling advertising to pulling the tarp - and was recognized by a national media outlet as the first female depicted in a pro baseball card set (Ft. Myers Royals). She has climbed l'Alpe d'Huez three times. Her favorite road rides are around horse farms in north Georgia (USA) and around lavender fields in  Provence (France). Her favorite mountain bike rides are in Park City, Utah (USA).