Skylar Schneider and Cory Williams sweep pro races at Littleton Twilight Criterium

Skylar Schneider wins 2021 Littleton Twilight Criterium
Skylar Schneider wins 2021 Littleton Twilight Criterium (Image credit: USA CRITS)

L39ION of Los Angeles reigned supreme in the two pro races at the Audi Denver Littleton Twilight Criterium Saturday night, Skylar Schneider winning the women’s race and Cory Williams sprinting victory to the men’s clash.

After a mid-July stop in Salt Lake City, the fifth race of the 10-event USA CRITS series moved to the eastern side of the Rocky Mountains, just south of Denver. Rain fell all day but did not deter large crowds who gathered for the sixth edition of the Littleton Twilight Criterium.

Schneider had spent the last two weeks near her home in Chicago winning six of nine races in the Intelligentsia Cup, and placing second in the three events she didn’t win. The L39ION rider scored the maximum of 200 points with the victory Saturday, her second in the series after the Boise Twilight Criterium in July.

“There's a certain finesse with racing in the rain which I love. It was an amazing night in the streets of Littleton and the crowds were some of the best all year. I was super motivated for this race and proud to take another win in the L39ION of LA colors. Congrats to the men's squad and Cory Williams for their win too,” wrote Schneider on her Instagram feed.

Olivia Cummins (LUX/Sideshow p/b Specialized) finished behind the surging Schneider in second, while third place was secured by Harriet Owen (Instafund Racing), who entered the race tied with her teammate Rachel Langdon to lead the women’s individual USA CRITS standings.

DNA Pro Cycling Team tried to control the late laps of the wet race as several team members took turns on the six-corner circuit. Rally Cycling had a full squad as well riding near the front.

Caroline Baur (InstaFund Racing) was on front with four laps to go, the Swiss rider putting her teammates Owen and Langdon at the front. With two laps to go Rally Cycling took to the front of the peloton with Holly Breck and Katie Clouse keeping the speed high in a peloton, which had been cut in half from 80 to 40 riders.

The slippery conditions and high speeds led to a big crash on the final lap in the penultimate corner, taking out 10-15 riders and leaving Schneider plenty of real estate to take the win.

Owen and Langdon remained atop the individual standings, with Langdon scoring sprint points to move her into first place by just nine points. DNA Pro Cycling Team is the top women’s team midway through the series, with Celine Oberholzer (ATX Wolfpack p/b Jakroo) the current Best Young Rider and her ATX teammate Julie Kuliecza the women’s Lap Leader, just ahead of Langdon.

Williams cavalcade

A steadier rain soaked the course as the late-night men's race took off at 9 p.m. (MDT) local time with a field of more than 125 riders. L39ION of Los Angeles was aggressive from the opening laps, breaking the original peloton into two smaller groups.

Colby Lange (Hagens Berman Axeon) was working at the front as the high speeds strung out the lead group in a long, snaking line with seven laps to go, the second chasing group back 30 seconds.

John Harris with Spencer Moavenzadeh of ButcherBox went on the attack, and tried to get a gap with four of the six L39ION riders still in sight, and Harris struck out alone to grab a handful of seconds.

Best Buddies moved to the front with three laps to go to control the pace, with series Lap Leader Danny Summerhill (Best Buddies Racing) at the front on the final lap. But he would be passed by Cory and Justin Williams in a burst from turn five, Cory using turbo mode to take the victory.

Thomas Gibbons (Automatic Racing), who continues second overall in the standings, finished second in the crit clash, while Tyler Williams rounded out the podium in third. Justin Williams trailed in fourth, but retained his individual series lead with a 62-point margin over.

Tyler Williams and Justin Williams are third and fourth, respectively, in the men’s individual standings. Michael Hernandez (Best Buddies Racing) is the Best Young Rider and his teammate Summerhill continues as the Lap Leader through five races.

The USA CRITS series moves to the Southeast for more searing speeds and temperatures in mid-summer with the Birmingham Hammerfest fueled by Bolt24 on August 14, Spartanburg Criterium on August 20 and Athens Orthopedic Clinic Twilight Criterium on August 21.

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Brief results - elite women
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Skylar Schneider (USA) L39ION of Los Angeles
2Olivia Cummins (USA) LUX/Sideshow p/b Specialized
3Harriet Owen (GBr) InstaFund Racing
4Aline Seitz (Swi) Rupelcleaning Champion Lubricants
5Olivia Ray (NZl) Rally Cycling
6Rachel Langdon (GBr) InstaFund Racing
7Erica Clevenger (USA) DNA Pro Cycling TeamRow 6 - Cell 2
8Christina Gokey Smith (USA) Colavita/HelloFresh Women's Pro Cycling
9Rachel Canning (Can) Levine Law Group Elite Women's Cycling
10Sara Tussey Rains (USA) Colavita/HelloFresh Women's Pro Cycling
11Jane Tullis (USA) Aminorip/ExtraSweet Racing
12Austin Killips (USA) Amy D. Foundation
13Kimberly Lucie (USA) DNA Pro Cycling Team
14Kristen Arnold (USA) ATX Wolfpack p/b Jakroo
15Ava Hachmann (USA) Levine Law Group Elite Women's Cycling
16Julie Kuliecza (USA) ATX Wolfpack p/b Jakroo
17Hayley Bates (USA) Levine Law Group Elite Women’s Cycling
18Lex Albrecht (Can) Fearless Femme Racing
19Brenna Wrye-Simpson (USA) DNA Pro Cycling Team
20Michelle Henry (USA) Roxo Racing
Swipe to scroll horizontally
Brief results - elite men
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Cory Williams (USA) L39ion of Los Angeles
2Thomas Gibbons (USA) Automatic Racing
3Tyler Williams (USA) L39ion of Los Angeles
4Noah Granigan (USA) Wildlife Generation Pro Cycling
5Justin Williams (USA) L39ION of Los Angeles
6Connor Sallee (USA) Butcherbox Cycling
7Jeremiah Stoller (USA) Nashville Local Cycling
8Andrew Giniat (USA) CS Velo Racing
9Lance Abshire (USA) Space City Development Team
10Kyle Tiesler (USA) BSCG / Support Clean Sport / Guttenplan Coaching
11Julio Padilla (Gua) DCC
12Dalton Collins (USA) Automatic Racing
13Cyrus Pearo (USA) Primal-Audi Denver
14David Dawson (USA) Automatic Racing
15Josh Rinderknecht (USA) Cinch Elite
16Colby Lange (USA) Hagens Berman Axeon
17Conor Mullervy (USA) Team CLIF Bar
18Spencer Moavenzadeh (USA) ButcherBox Cycling
19John Bowie (USA) Robson Forensic - Milligan Cycling
20Ruben Companioni (Cub) Best Buddies Racing

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Jackie Tyson
North American Production editor

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. She is proud to have worked in professional baseball for six years - from selling advertising to pulling the tarp for several minor league teams. She has climbed l'Alpe d'Huez three times (not fast). Her favorite road and gravel rides are around horse farms in north Georgia (USA) and around lavender fields in Provence (France), and some mtb rides in Park City, Utah (USA).