Skylar Schneider captures crown for women at Sunny King Criterium

Skylar Schneider continued the winning streak for L39ION of Los Angeles by taking the crown at the Sunny King Criterium for pro women. Her teammate Alexis Ryan provided the launchpad for the rocketing move on the uphill finish in downtown Anniston on Saturday night under the lights.

From a large front group, Maggie Coles-Lyster (DNA Pro Cycling Team) made a late move to blast into second place at the line, Ryan securing third place in the lead pack of 12 riders, who all finished with the same time, 1:03:11.

With the victory, Skylar Schneider takes the first lead in the American Criterium Cup for elite women. Sunny King Criterium, now in its 20th year, served as the lead event in the 10-race US series, offering support and prize money totalling $100,000 at the end of the season, to be divided equally among men and women. 

“Anniston is one of my favourite cities to race in and we were really happy to be here. I’ve been coming here since I was 15 to win this and I got it done,” Skylar Schneider said at the finish line.  “Coming around the last corner I knew I had to get it done because [my teammates] put it on the line. It feels great to pull off the win tonight and get to wear the crown!”

Now 23, Schneider finished fourth in her first appearance in Anniston in 2015. The next year, she moved up one spot while her teammate and sister Sam Schneider took the victory for the IS Corp team.  

“It’s a hard course and the wind on the course made it tougher. 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.”

Before the race Skylar told Cyclingnews that if the race was aggressive, the final uphill finish, which “doesn't look like much” would make the difference. She was correct.

Halfway through the one-hour match L39ION put several riders at the front to push the pace and were joined by Coles-Lyster, and Anna Christian and Shannon Koch of Colavita-Factor Pro Cycling. The move was closed down, but four minutes later Cara O’Neill (Colavita-Factor Pro Cycling) made one of her many attacks. Along with teammate Christina Gokey-Smith, Skylar Schneider and two others, the move only lasted a few laps.

The 36-rider field stayed together as the sun set on the small Alabama city, Alexis Ryan shaking up proceedings with 11 laps to go, then O’Neill making a counter-attack. After that assault was nullified, she tried a final time with four laps to go, causing the field to string out in single file. Kendall Ryan then closed down the gap and it was all L39ION for the final three laps.

The L39ION women’s squad was the team to beat Saturday, having swept the top four places last month at Birmingham Hammerfest - Alexis Ryan taking the win, sister Kendall Ryun in third, and the Schneider sisters Skylar and Sam taking second and fourth, respectively.

The series continues on May 21 in Rochester, New York for the MVP Health Care Rochester Twilight Criterium. The bulk of the series offers seven races in seven states during the summer months and concludes on Labor Day, September 5, with the Benton Park Classic, the fourth and final day of the Bommarito Audi Gateway Cup.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Skylar Schneider (L39ION of Los Angeles) 1:03:11
2Maggie Coles-lyster (DNA Pro Cycling Team) 0:00:01
3Alexis Ryan (L39ION of Los Angeles)
4Paola Munoz (CWA Racing p/b Goldman Sachs ETFs)
5Diana Penuela (DNA Pro Cycling Team) 0:00:02
6Taylor Kuyk-white (Philly Bike Expo) 0:00:03
7Stephanie Halamek (Philly Bike Expo p/b VeloJawn) 0:00:04
8Haley Smith (ATX Wolfpack p/b ProBikeKit)
9Kaitlyn Rauwerda (DNA Pro Cycling Team)
10Rachel Plessing (ButcherBox Cycling p/b LOOK) 0:00:05
11Anna Christian (Colavita Factor_ Pro Cycling)
12Andrea Cyr (ButcherBox Cycling p/b LOOK)
13Verena Eberhardt (ATX Wolfpack p/b ProBikeKit) 0:00:07
14Alexi Costa (CWA Racing p/b Goldman Sachs ETFs)
15Allison Mccurry (AUTOMATIC | ABUS RACING)
16Debbie Milne ( 0:00:08
17Cara O'Neill (Colavita Factor_Pro Cycling Team)
18Mel Dorman (Shadow Elite)
19Christina Gokey-smith (Colavita Factor _Pro Cycling) 0:00:09
20Sarah Schuetter (Robson Forensic P/B Extra Sweet)
21Jessica Bonilla Escapite (CWA Racing p/b Goldman Sachs ETFs) 0:00:10
22Shannon Koch (Colavita Factor_ Pro Cycling)
23Ava Sykes (CWA Racing p/b Goldman Sachs ETFs) 0:00:11
24Loren Morgan (Robson Forensic / Extra Sweet) 0:00:12
25Kendall Ryan (L39ION of Los Angeles) 0:00:14
26Caitlin Milne ( 0:00:15
27Samantha Schneider (L39ION of Los Angeles) 0:00:34
28Kimberly Lucie (DNA Pro Cycling Team) 0:00:39
29Andrea Buttine (ButcherBox Cycling p/b LOOK) 0:01:29
30Paige Kostanecki (ButcherBox Cycling p/b LOOK)
32Katia Martinez (CWA Racing p/b Goldman Sachs ETFs)
33Julyn Aguila (L39ION of Los Angeles)
34Leigh Dukeman (CWA Racing p/b Goldman Sachs ETFs) 0:01:53
35Amalia Langham (ATX Wolfpack p/b ProBikeKit)
36Julianna Simpson (4D 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).

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