Lamperti goes back-to-back to win men's criterium at US Pro Road Championships

Luke Lamperti (Trinity Racing) timed his final attack for the final two corners and won a second consecutive men's criterium title at the USA Pro Road Championships. 

In a photo finish for the final two spots on the podium, Gavin Hoover (L39ION of Los Angeles) finished second and Scott McGill (Wildlife Pro Cycling Team) was third. L39ION’s Ty Magner trailed for fourth.

“You have a little more knowledge when you come back to the same course. The thing I learned from last year was the earlier you jump the better,” said Lamperti with a second stars-and-stripes jersey in the criterium. "You have to come out of that last corner ideally in first, but you have to be right up there the whole time."

“I was a little worried about the two guys off the front but it comes down to the two bigger teams here, Best Buddies and L39ION, who bring it back. So there can be benefits to riding by yourself."

Lamperti’s blast from the peloton looked very similar to the way he won last year, making a successful defense to his pro criterium championship. And for a second year he also rode without any teammates, being the lone American on the 20-rider British-based Trinity squad.

"It was a super chaotic day, everyone could feel that there was no one to really control it, people were going up the road all day,” Hoover told Cyclingnews about L39ION of Los Angeles team strategy for the finish. "It’s my third time to do this race and first time to make it on the podium!"

Wildlife Pro Cycling got McGill on the podium, holding off strong rides by Magner, Hugo Scala Jr (Project Echelon Racing) and Michael Hernandez (Best Buddies Racing) in the final sprint to the line.

"I just followed my teammate Noah Granigan, that's all you have to do. He led me until three turns to go and I kinda went on my own and it was a little bit scrappy. Then I got stuck behind L39ION and they let Luke [Lamperti] go, I guess they could not go around the turns fast enough and then Luke won. I did the best I could in the sprint but the race is over with three turns to go.

“Pretty disappointing honestly, we came here to win. To get a podium is always good but definitely we will be looking forward to Sunday's race."

How it unfolded

The 80-minute pro criterium for elite men saw 89 riders hit the 1.7km course in the Friday twilight in downtown Knoxville. 

Now in its fourth year for the US Pro Criterium to be held in the college town nestled in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, the decisive section of the course was again on the climb on Clinch Avenue with a right, then left, then a final left-hand turn onto a downhill finish on Gay Street. 

The men hit the throttle immediately, the pace stretching out the peloton in single-file formation on the first lap. Defending champion Lamperti was one of the riders surging to the front to try to make something happen.

It took 15 minutes for a small group of six riders to form a small gap with Lamperti again taking the initiative to go out front but a breakaway never developed. Among riders to try attacks were Stephen Vogel (Project Echelon Racing), William “Cooper” Johnson (Aevolo Cycling), and Sean Christian (Cinch Rise).

Half an hour passed before the duo of Riley Sheehan (Premier Tech U23 Cycling Project) and Kaler Marshall (Expeditors Elite Cycling Team) made separation on the back side of the course for the first break of the day.

Seven minutes later Ethan Moyer (Rio Grande Elite Cycling) made it three at the front. But a few laps later the trio stopped working together and like a flood, they were swallowed up.

George Simpson (Project Echelon Racing) was next to attack. He was joined by Colby Simmons (Jumbo-Visma Development), Tanner Ward (Best Buddies Racing) and Hoover, and the chase behind stretched out the peloton yet again. It took a few laps, but L39ION of Los Angeles began to move closer to the front. 

The duo of Aevolo's Johnson and Will Hardin (Project Echelon Racing) made an organised effort with almost 15 laps remaining and with 9 to go had a 20-second gap on the field. Two laps later, Jonny Brown of Miami Blazers made an unsuccessful solo quest to catch the duo, with six L39ION riders leading a charging peloton.

The Aevolo-Project Echelon duo continued to stay away for four more laps, the intensity of the crowd beginning to grow as the pair seemed to have a chance to contest for the victory, holding a lead of 19 seconds with three laps remaining.

On the penultimate lap, Best Buddies Racing began to show their cards and took over at the front, with Lamperti stalking near the front of the peloton. The break was caught and on the final turn onto Gay Street the 2021 champion rode across the line all alone to go back to back with the stars-and-stripes jersey.

“We said we would take the front at seven [laps to go] and even if we don't hold it we'll be safe and be up there," silver medalist Hoover recounted at the finish how the final laps unfolded. "So we rode from seven to go and Best Buddies came around with two [laps], then it was me and Ty Magner freelancing and sitting as close as we could to the front. 

"Then I went on the last lap up the hill trying to go for Ty and then figuring I would keep going all the way to the line and Luke shot inside with two corners to go and then I just kept going."

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Luke Lamperti (USA) Trinity Racing 1:18:41
2Gavin Hoover (USA) L39ION of Los Angeles 0:00:02
3Scott McGill (USA) Wildlife Pro Cycling Team
4Ty Magner (USA) L39ION of Los Angeles
5Hugo Scala Jr. (USA) Project Echelon Racing
6Michael Hernandez (USA) Best Buddies Racing
7Lucas Bourgoyne (USA) WB-Fybolia Morbihan 0:00:04
8Daniel Estevez (USA) Best Buddies Racing
9Colby Simmons (USA) Jumbo Visma Development
10Andrew Giniat (USA) CS Velo Racing 0:00:06
11Andrew Dillman (USA) Texas Roadhouse Cycling Team
12Sean Burger (USA) CS Velo Racing
13Gabriel Shipley (USA) Aevolo Cycling 0:00:07
14Cade Bickmore (USA) Texas Roadhouse Cycling Team 0:00:08
15Robert Pearce (USA) Team Mikes Bikes p/b Equator Coffees
16Liam Flanagan (USA) Kelly Benefits Strategies Elite Cycling Team 0:00:13
17Will Hardin (USA) Project Echelon Racing
18Sean Christian (USA) CINCH RISE
19Johnny Purvis (USA) First Internet Bank Cycling 0:00:14
20Kyle Perry (USA) Texas Roadhouse Cycling Team
21James Hilyer (USA) Rio Grande Elite Cycling Team
22Noah Granigan (USA) Wildlife Pro Cycling Team
23Caleb Langley (USA) First Internet Bank Cycling 0:00:18
24Jeremiah Stoller (USA) Nashville Local WOLFPACK 0:00:20
25Kaler Marshall (USA) Expeditors Elite Cycling Team
26Cory Greenberg (USA) Team Dauner | Akkon
27Evan Bausbacher (USA) Ride Bikes Bro 0:00:21
28Justin McQuerry (USA) Team Novo Nordisk Development 0:00:23
29Hank Brandes (USA) 0:00:24
30Max Ritzow (USA) Expeditors Elite Cycling Team
31Allan Schroeder (USA) CS Velo Racing
32Finn Gullickson (USA) CR4C Roanne 0:00:25
33Nathan Surowiec (USA) Kelly Benefits Strategies Elite Cycling Team
34Isaac Bryant (USA) Above and Beyond p/b Bike world 0:00:26
35Ryan Jastrab (USA) Wildlife Pro Cycling Team
36Taylor Warren (USA) CS Velo Racing 0:00:27
37Spencer Moavenzadeh (USA) ButcherBox Cycling p/b LOOK
38Roman Kilun (USA) Team Mikes Bikes p/b Equator Coffees 0:00:28
39Michael Bowes (USA) Nashville Local WOLFPACK 0:00:29
40Benjamin Wolfe (USA) Best Buddies Racing
41Kent Ross (USA) Wildlife Pro Cycling Team
42Jonathan Brown (USA) Miami Blazers 0:00:35
43William Seitz (USA) Robson Forensic p/b Extra Sweet 0:00:42
44Brooks Wienke (USA) Aevolo Cycling 0:00:44
45Zachary Rivenbark (USA) 0:00:55
46Wiliam Gleason (USA) CS Velo Racing 0:00:56
47Asa Black (USA) First Internet Bank Cycling 0:00:57
48William "Cooper" Johnson (USA) Aevolo Cycling
49Brendan Rhim (USA) Wildlife Pro Cycling Team 0:00:59
50Cayden Whitehill (USA) Team MACK Racing Elite 0:01:02
51Ethan Moyer (USA) Rio Grande Elite Cycling Team
52George Simpson (USA) Project Echelon Racing 0:01:04
53Peter Olejniczak (USA) Project Echelon Racing 0:01:05
54Robin Carpenter (USA) Human Powered Health
55Ian Williams (USA) Expeditors Elite Cycling Team 0:01:08
56Samuel Boardman (USA) L39ION of Los Angeles 0:01:14
57Tanner Ward (USA) Best Buddies Racing 0:01:19
58Nathan Brown (USA) Human Powered Health 0:01:20
59Curtis White (USA) Best Buddies Racing 0:01:21
60Keelan Ontiveros (USA) Expeditors Elite Cycling Team 0:01:25
61Stephen Vogel (USA) Project Echelon Racing 0:01:30
62Matthew Zimmer (USA) Project Echelon Racing
63Ian Garrison (USA) L39ION of Los Angeles 0:01:32
64Maximus Anderson (USA) Kelly Benefits Strategies Elite Cycling Team 0:01:38
65Frank Travieso (USA) Miami Blazers 0:01:41
66Andrew Crater (USA) 0:01:43
67Tyrel Fuchs (USA) Rio Grande Elite Cycling Team 0:02:17
68Timothy Killelea (USA) Nashville Local WOLFPACK 0:02:21
69Peter Behm (USA) Rio Grande Elite Cycling Team 0:02:35
70Lance Haidet (USA) L39ION of Los Angeles 0:03:25
71Jared Scott (USA) Aevolo Cycling
72Erik Hammerquist (USA) Expeditors Elite Cycling Team
73Tayne Andrade (USA) Rio Grande Elite Cycling Team 0:03:26
74John Becker (USA) First Internet Bank Cycling
75Joseph Bacala (USA) Landis/Trek
76Justin Bird (USA) Team MACK Racing Elite
77Jacob Slosar (USA) Team MACK Racing Elite
78Riley Sheehan (USA) Premier Tech U23 Cycling Project
79Andrew Harris (USA) Nashville Local WOLFPACK 0:03:27
80Ethan Carney (USA) Team MACK Racing Elite
DNFHunter Grove (USA) L39ION of Los Angeles
DNFAma Nsek (USA) Best Buddies Racing
DNFSteve Sonheim (USA) Expeditors Elite Cycling Team
DNFGreg Talpey (USA) Expeditors Elite Cycling Team
DNFBrandon Feehery (USA) Project Echelon Racing
DNFRyan Gorman (USA) Team Mikes Bikes p/b Equator Coffees
DNFOliver Flautt (USA) ButcherBox Cycling p/b LOOK

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

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).