Olivia Ray 'still waiting' for $15,000 winner's prize for Into The Lion’s Den Criterium

Into The Lion’s Den criterium
Into The Lion’s Den criterium (Image credit: Kit Karzen)

Olivia Ray (Rally Cycling) confirmed that she has not received the prize money owed to her for winning the elite women’s race at the inaugural Into The Lion’s Den Criterium that was held in Sacramento on October 30.

In an email Cyclingnews and in a post on Twitter Tuesday, the criterium national champion from New Zealand stated that she is 'still waiting' for the official $15,000 winner's prize cheque.

"It just seems odd that the prize list was known and the huge hype of the huge $100k payout, split equally was promoted so heavily. To have not heard anything since the race, nor receiving the cheques, it is a little questionable," Ray told Cyclingnews.

"Though we were not promised a specific time frame in which we would receive the cash, no outreach from the organizer or even Legion [of Los Angeles] on the subject has happened."

Cyclingnews understands that other riders are still waiting to be paid prizes by the promoter of the event.

The inaugural Into The Lion's Den Criterium was billed as one of the richest criteriums in US history offering a whopping $100,000 prize purse.

Organisers offered $40,000 for 70 minutes of racing for both the men's and women's pro fields. Prize payouts were paid out equally from first through tenth place with the winners of each field earning $15,000. 

Prizes also included a total of $10,000 in mid-race primes that were split evenly at $5,000 between the men's and women's races. Each event offered five mid-race primes that ranged from $1,000 to $3,000.

Cyclingnews reached a member of the L39ION's team's management. They said that "they expected the payments to riders to be made this week."

Ray won the women's race ahead of US criterium champion Kendall Ryan (L39ION of Los Angeles) and Amy Pieters (Team SD Worx). Justin Williams (L39ION of Los Angeles) won the men's race ahead of Luke Lamperti (Trinity Racing) and Cory Williams (L39ION of Los Angeles).

Ray confirmed to Cyclingnews that neither she nor Rally Cycling's management has received the payouts and that they would have typically expected to receive such payments within a week of a criterium.

Rally Cycling team's management has reached out to the organisers at Into The Lion's Den Criterium to request a timeline for payment, however, the response was inconclusive as to when they could expect to receive cheques.

Ray published a new statement on Twitter following the publication of this story on Wednesday.

"I recently made comments online about the Into the Lion's Den payout that were inexcusable and uncalled for. My lack of judgment and choice to speak out when I had no cause to do so got the better of me," Ray wrote.

"I am deeply, deeply sorry for damaging the name of not only the @in2thelionsden event but also heavily disheartened by the backlash it has caused @l39ionla, a team I have the utmost respect for.

"They put together a truly spectacular event. For me to disregard that, and to speak so immaturely was selfish. I showed a severe lack of responsibility for myself, and what I stand for. This has been a real wake-up call for me about how I should act moving forward.

Thank you for reading 5 articles in the past 30 days*

Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read any 5 articles for free in each 30-day period, this automatically resets

After your trial you will be billed £4.99 $7.99 €5.99 per month, cancel anytime. Or sign up for one year for just £49 $79 €59

Join now for unlimited access

Try your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Cyclingnews is the world's leader in English-language coverage of professional cycling. Started in 1995 by University of Newcastle professor Bill Mitchell, the site was one of the first to provide breaking news and results over the internet in English. The site was purchased by Knapp Communications in 1999, and owner Gerard Knapp built it into the definitive voice of pro cycling. Since then, major publishing house Future PLC has owned the site and expanded it to include top features, news, results, photos and tech reporting. The site continues to be the most comprehensive and authoritative English voice in professional cycling.