Luke Lamperti will compete as a guest rider with L39ION of Los Angeles while Justin Williams will lead a contingency of L39ION teammates on a New York City Dream squad for the inaugural CRIT Championship on October 21 in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Organisers revealed the ‘all-star,’ invitation-only lineup for pro fields, which will populate 10 teams for the special one-day event. L39ION of Los Angeles is the only Continental team in the field, while Miami Blazers and Austin Aviators represent US domestic elite squads. The balance of the field includes seven custom-built teams for the CRIT Championship.
The prize purse for pro women and men total $15,000, to be split evenly across both fields in 70-minute competitions across four categories – winner, most valuable pedaler (sprint competition), best young rider and best team. The Open Cat 2/3/4 men’s and women’s races will offer a $2,000 total prize purse, divided equally.
CRIT is the acronym for Circuit Racing International Tour, which was created by pro cyclist Justin Williams, who started Williams Racing development and co-founded the L39ION of Los Angeles US Continental team in partnership with Wasserman Ventures. The CRIT Championship is not sanctioned by USA Cycling, allowing Williams the freedom for an independent structure, including pro invitations, creation of one-day teams and other community events.
While all 10 teams will be part of the men’s pro race, only four teams include pro women. Organisers shared with Cyclingnews that because of limited availability, many pro women did not accept invitations to participate, and the women’s open 2/3/4 field will be combined with the confirmed pro women on race day. The $7,500 purse will be on offer for the pro women, while the open division riders will compete for $1,000 as planned.
In order to allow the majority of riders from the co-ed L39ION team to participate, Justin Williams moved part of the roster to his New York team, joined by Ty Magner, Alec Cowan, Robin Carpenter and Kyle Murphy in the men’s race. The L39ION squad will include Cory Williams, Tyler Williams, Eder Frayre, Lance Haidet, Sam Boardman and Lamperti.
Lamperti, the three-time US Pro criterium champion, is set to ride on the WorldTour level in 2024, moving from Trinity Racing to Soudal-QuickStep. With his off-season underway, organisers said he was looking for opportunities to be part of cycling in local communities, and he added participation in the CRIT Championship to support the efforts of Williams Development.
On the women’s side, Alexis Ryan and Kendall Ryan will lead the New York City Dream against L39ION standouts Skylar Schneider, Samantha Schneider and Julyn Aguila.
Former US Pro road race national champion Jonny Brown, who raced with the Blazers this season, will headline the Chicago Rivals, and US Amateur road race champion Brandon Feehery leads the Blazers. Ethan Craine, who had podiums this year at Tour of America’s Dairyland for Project Echelon Racing, will race for Milwaukee Swarm contingency.
The pro men are expected to cover 48 laps on a four-corner, 1km course in the EDGE District of St. Petersburg. Points in the sprint competition will be awarded for the fastest five riders to cross the line every 12 laps, and the finishing sprint will offer double points to the top 10. The pro women will cover 40 laps and sprint points will be awarded every 10 laps.
The CRIT Championship is similar to Into The Lion’s Den criterium, which Justin Williams created in 2021, as a bike race, that first foray into event management taking place in Sacramento, California, with a $100,000 prize purse for an invitation-only field of pro men and women.
The St. Petersburg race is a new format established to celebrate cycling and community in the historic EDGE district of the Gulf Coast city. Along with elite races, a full schedule of amateur events will be held throughout the day. There will be three men’s races – fixed gear open, open masters 35+ to 65+ and open category 2/3/4 – and two women’s races – fixed gear open and open 2/3/4 – as well as a junior race, youth 2-12 race, GranFundo cycling event and 5k run.
CRIT Championship teams 2023
- 5280 Denver Colorado
- Atlanta Flyers
- Austin Aviators
- Chicago Rivals
- London Tekkerz
- L39ion of Los Angeles
- Miami Blazers
- Milwaukee Swarm
- Nashville Reign
- New York City Dream