The 2022 USA Cycling Pro National Championships were held in Knoxville, Tennesee where new National Champions were crowned in the Time Trial and Road Race Championships. Congratulations to Southern California’s Kendall Ryan (L39ION of Los Angeles) who won the USA Pro Criterium Championships and Zoe Ta-Perez (LUX-CTS p/b Specialized) won titles in the Elite U23 Women’s USA Pro Time Trial.
Ryan & Lamperti Defend Stars-and-Stripes on the Second Day of U.S. PRO
A pair of repeat victories for Kendall Ryan (Ventura, Calif., L39ion of Los Angeles) and Luke Lamperti (Sebastopol, Calif.; Trinity Racing) were the highlights of the second day of the 2022 USA Cycling Professional Road National Championships, held in downtown Knoxville, Tenn. Olivia Cummins (Fort Collins, Colo.; LUX-CTS p/b Specialized), who placed sixth in the Elite Women’s criterium, claimed the U23 Women’s Criterium title.
Ryan successfully defended her title through the teamwork of her L39ion of Los Angeles teammates. The team thwarted attack after attack. Riders like Coryn Labecki (Tustin, Calif.; Team Jumbo-Visma), Heidi Franz (Seattle; InstaFund), and Emily Newsome (Fort Worth, Texas; E.F. Education – TIBCO – SVB) all made attacks at the front of the race, but the L39ion Lionesses managed to overcome these riders and push Ryan to the top. In the end, it was a sweep for the team, with Ryan’s teammates Skyler Schneider (Milwaukee, Wisc., L39ion of Los Angeles) and Alexis Ryan (Ventura, Calif., L39ion of Los Angeles) taking home the silver and bronze, respectively.
Ryan was ecstatic with the team’s performance today and all year. “This year has been pretty victorious for our team. My job was super easy today because of them. I know the sweet spots of this course, and they captured and killed everything. They made it an easy race for me. Honestly, I wish they could win the national championship jersey with me.”
1. Kendall Ryan (Ventura, Calif., L39ion of Los Angeles)
2. Skyler Schneider (Milwaukee, Wis., L39ion of Los Angeles)
3. Alexis Ryan (Ventura, Calif., L39ion of Los Angeles)
The U23 Women’s podium is recognized as the best Elite Women’s field riders aged 19-22 years. This year, Cummins proved to be the top rider under 23 years old, finishing sixth in the field sprint. In addition, silver medallist at the 2021 UCI Junior Road Race World Championships, Kaia Schmid (Marblehead, Mass.; Human Powered Health), sprinted her way to ninth in the field of 51 riders, claiming silver on the U23 podium. Her teammate, Katie Clouse (Park City, Utah), earned the bronze.
1. Olivia Cummins (Fort Collins, Colo.; LUX-CTS p/b Specialized)
2. Kaia Schmid (Marblehead, Mass.; Human Powered Health)
3. Katie Clouse (Park City, Utah; Human Powered Health)
Riding similar tactics as his win at Saint Francis Tulsa Tough, 19-year-old Lamperti doubled up his criterium title count, out sprinting 91 other competitors. With ten laps to go, Will Hardin (Winston Salem, N.C., Project Echelon Racing) and Cooper Johnson (Murfreesboro, Tenn., Aevolo Cycling) broke away from the peloton. Working together, the duo were able to stay away for six laps, but the L39ion of Los Angeles squad drove up the pace of the field and brought it all back together for the end of the race. Lamperti followed the Lions and overcame the black-and-gold train to take home his second Elite Men’s Criterium title. Tokyo 2020 Track Olympian Gavin Hoover (Manhattan Beach, Calif.; L39ion of Los Angeles) launched himself out of the lead out from his team to claim silver. 23-year-old Scott McGill (Fallston, Md., Wildlife Pro Cycling) earned bronze.
Lamperti kept a beat on the race’s pulse, ensuring he could react to any move made by the powerhouse teams. “I was a little bit worried about the two guys off the front, so it kind of comes down to the two biggest teams here, Best Buddies and L39ion, to bring it back. There can be benefits to riding by yourself.”
1. Luke Lamperti (Sebastopol, Calif.; Trinity Racing)
2. Gavin Hoover (Manhattan Beach, Calif.; L39ion of Los Angeles)
3. Scott McGill (Fallston, Md., Wildlife Pro Cycling)
The first day of the 2022 USA Cycling Professional Road National Championships kicked off on Thursday with the time trial events at Melton Lake Park in Oak Ridge, Tenn. A mild morning gave way to hotter temperatures in the afternoon, with riders scorching the course all day long. Leah Thomas (Santa Clara, Calif.; Trek-Segafredo), Zoe Ta-Perez (Orange, Calif., LUX-CTS p/b Specialized), and Lawson Craddock (Houston; Team BikeExchange-Jayco) all claimed top honors earning the Elite Women’s, U23 Women’s, and Elite Men’s titles, respectively.
Twenty-six women started in Melton Lake Park, tackling two laps of the 11.6-kilometer course. Second to last leaving the start house, Thomas proved she was the fastest on the day for the women claiming the fastest time at the intermediate split. She would finish the race in a time of 29:38.21, bettering the time from last year’s winner on the same course by over 30 seconds. Tokyo Olympian Amber Neben (Irvine, Calif.; Cogeas Mettler Look Pro Cycling) finished second, stopping the clock at 30:22.63. Ta-Perez took the final step of the Elite Women’s podium, claiming her first medal at the elite level.
This win was Thomas’ first stars-and-stripes jersey of her career. “It feels really great. I’ve worked hard at time trials. I’ve finished third here many, many times in a row and haven’t quite gotten it together. It’s been a tough spring, and I’ve been through a lot to get here. I’m proud I was able to put it together”, said Thomas. Her next event will be the Giro d’Italia Donne, starting Thursday, June 30, 2022.
1. Leah Thomas(Santa Clara, Calif.; Trek-Segafredo) 29:38.21
2. Amber Neben (Irvine, Calif.; Cogeas Mettler Look Pro Cycling) 30:22.63
3. Zoe Ta-Perez (Orange, Calif., LUX-CTS p/b Specialized) 31:30.77
Part of the Elite Women’s race, riders aged 19-22 are also eligible for the U23 Women’s title. Former Junior World Champion on the track, Ta-Perez, was the fastest member of the group with a time of 31:30.77 and earned the stars-and-stripes for the U23 Women in addition to her Elite Women’s bronze. LUX-CTS p/b Specialized teammate, Olivia Cummins (Fort Collins, Colo.), raced her way to silver in the group. Betty Hasse (Providence, R.I., Levine Law Group – CCB) rounded out the podium.
Earning her first elite medal, Ta-Perez said, “It feels amazing. I mean, my only goal really was to just focus on the execution today, and it’s amazing when it goes to plan!”
1. Zoe Ta-Perez (Orange, Calif., LUX-CTS p/b Specialized) 31:30.77
2. Olivia Cummins (Fort Collins, Colo., LUX-CTS p/b Specialized) 33:29.92
3. Betty Hasse (Providence, R.I., Levine Law Group – CCB) 34:44.95
Capping off the day, the Elite Men saw 36 riders try to beat the clock in the race for time. Defending national champion Craddock proved victorious again, stopping the clock in a time of 40:39.92, bettering his time from the 2021 event by over one minute. Magnus Sheffield (Pittsford, N.Y.; Ineos Grenadiers) took home the silver medal, posting his time of 40:43.24, just three seconds from Craddock. The race leader for the majority of the men’s competition, George Simpson (Fort Collins, Colo., Project Echelon Racing), eventually took home the bronze with his time of 42:27.45.
Defending his title is something Craddock has looked forward to. “It’s a great environment here in Knoxville, and I’m always happy to come back. Any chance you get to race back in the states for us is really important.” Going up against Sheffield, Craddock knew he would be in for a challenge. “Basically, from the first pedal stroke, I knew it was going to be a tough fight to win today, but I had a really good run and a really great team behind me with Team BikeExchange-Jayco and also with my family here supporting me and for taking care of me the last couple of days. It’s a special opportunity to wear the stars and stripes, so I am really happy to defend the jersey, but I am looking forward to racing the Road Race on Sunday, too.”
Sheffield made his elite national championship debut this weekend at the age of 20. “I was really happy. I’ve made big improvements over last year, and it’s been a step up. Obviously, I came here to win, but it was a lot of big travel getting here. I am really lucky my team agreed to support me in coming here. It was really special getting to come back to the U.S. to race. We don’t get to do that much anymore, so it’s been nice getting to enjoy time with my family.”
1. Lawson Craddock (Houston; Team BikeExchange-Jayco) 40:39.92
2. Magnus Sheffield (Pittsford, N.Y.; Ineos Grenadiers) 40:43.24
3. George Simpson (Fort Collins, Colo., Project Echelon Racing) 42:27.45