Summerhill sweeps Tulsa Tough omniums, Armed Forces CC - North American Roundup

Sam Schneider and Danny Summerhill win Tulsa Tough omniums

Samantha Schneider (L39ION of Los Angeles) and Danny Summerhill (American Cycling) won the omnium titles for the three days of racing at Saint Francis Tulsa Tough in Oklahoma last weekend. Both riders had wins on the second day of racing in the Tulsa Arts District.

Samantha, the older of the two Schneider sisters, scored the most points, 82, for any athlete to secure the women’s title. Olivia Cummins (DNA Pro Cycling) finished three points back for second overall, and Katherine Sarkisov (Cynisca Cycling) was third with 64 points.

Summerhill scored a total of 59 points in the omnium, 10 points better than Dusan Kalaba (ButcherBox Cycling p/b LOOK), who finished second overall. Noah Granigan (Denver Disruptors) edged out Clever Martinez (Miami Nights) for third overall for men, three points behind Kalaba.

Saint Francis Tulsa Tough began June 9 under the lights of downtown Tulsa’s Blue Dome entertainment district. The Friday night criterium fireworks found Cummins and Justin Williams (L39ION of Los Angeles) in the winner’s circles for elite riders. 

On Saturday, L39ION of Los Angeles went one-two, with Samantha Schneider taking the victory and Kendall Ryan on her wheel in second. Cummins took third just ahead of Andrea Cyr (Miami Nights). Summerhill won the FC Tulsa Arts District Criterium for elite men, with Dario Rapps (DCC Alpecin) in second and Bryan Gomez (Miami Nights) in third.

The final day of racing on Sunday was the McElroy River Parks Criterium. L39ION of Los Angeles again dominated the women’s elite race, with Skylar Schneider and Samantha Schneider securing first and second, respectively. Cummins followed in third. For the elite men, L39ION’s Samuel Boardman nabbed the victory in a three-way sprint. Granigan was second, and Jonas Schmeiser (DCC Alpecin) was third.

The McNellie’s Blue Dome Criterium was also the third instalment in the 10-race American Criterium Cup. Andrea Cyr (Miami Nights) extended her overall lead in the women’s division with a fifth-place finish on Friday night, while Summerhill continued as the overall and sprint leader for men with his third-place finish. 

Mejias and Summerhill win omniums at Armed Forces Cycling Classic

Marlies Mejias (Virginia’s Blue Ridge TWENTY24) and Danny Summerhill (American Cycling) won the omnium titles at the Armed Forces Cycling Classic, which celebrated its 25th anniversary June 3-4.

Mejias swept the pair of elite women’s races that were held in Washington, D.C., for a dominant overall victory. Kendall Ryan (L39ION of Los Angeles) and Sarah Van Dam (BlueHalo-DNA Pro Cycling) rounded out the omnium podium, with Ryan scoring a pair of runner-up finishes and Van Dam in third on both days.

Summerhill (American Cycling) used back-to-back podiums to take top honours for the men’s omnium, his teammate Jamie Castaneda second overall and Dario Rapps (DCC Alpecin). Cory Williams (L39ION of Los Angeles) won Saturday’s Crystal Cup for elite men, while Andreas Mayr (DCC Alpecin) won Sunday’s Clarendon Cup.

“This is not my victory alone. It belongs to the team after the incredible work they did – Emily [Ehrlich], Jennifer [Valente], Sofia [Arreola] – all of them did incredible work,” Mejias said after her win on Sunday. “These last two years have been tough, coming back from having my baby, but it was a big motivation for me to return. I worked hard to get here, but it’s been amazing. I want to tell all the mom’s out there - come back to cycling!”

Crystal Cup races

In the women’s Crystal Cup on Saturday, Mejias outsprinted reigning US Pro crit champion Kendall Ryan (L39ION of Los Angeles) for the victory. Trailing in third was Sarah Van Dam (BlueHalo-DNA Pro Cycling).

“The team kept me at the front, so I was able to remain stress-free and avoid any crashes. The team did an amazing job at the finish,” Mejias said. “I’m so happy to have won this race on this first day of racing. I won the Crystal Cup back in 2017. I am so grateful for my team and all the work they did to help me win again today.”

Ryan fell short of defending her Crystal Cup title from a year ago, competing in the 2023 edition with a reduced squad that included Julyn Aguila and Yarely Salazar.

“It was really hard without a full squad here. We had some tough maneuvering to do with Julyn and myself, so we were trying to share the work and keep the race together. My tactic was to try and go early. I went for the sprint just before the last turn; I was hoping it would pay off, but Marlies got in my slipstream and shot by me in the end. She had an incredible sprint.”

Heat and humidity were factors which led to attrition in both fields, with the temperature soaring to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. In the men’s race, early attacks did not stick until 17 laps to go when the DCC Alpecin pair of German criterium champion Jonas Schmeiser and Moritz Augenstein broke away with Henry Neff (Kelly Benefit Strategies). 

L39ION’s Sam Boardman and last year’s Crystal Cup winner Ty Magner reeled in the break within 5 laps to go, and Michael Hernandez pushed for American Cycling to help set up the final bunch sprint. Cory Williams had room to spare ahead of  Butcherbox’s Dusan Kalaba in second, while Danny Summerhill (American Cycling) took third. 

“There’s always nerves until 10 laps to go. Once we can get the race within our grasp, and we know it’s going to sprint, the nerves go away where we’re comfortable,” Williams said. 

Clarendon Cup races

On Sunday, the women raced for 50 laps, and Emily Ehrlich (Virginia’s Blue Ridge TWENTY24) exploded to the front for a 37-minute solo breakaway. It took quite a while for a counterattack, and she was later joined by Natalie Quinn (CCB Alpine Racing), Sarah Van Dam (BlueHalo - DNA Pro Cycling), Kendall Ryan (L39ION of Los Angeles) and Twenty24 teammates Jennifer Valente and Mejias.

Mejias had launched her sprint from behind Ehrlich in the six-rider breakaway. It would be a repeat of Saturday’s podium, with Kendall Ryan in second and Van Dam in third. 

The one-kilometre, five-corner course saw a breakaway of nine riders escape in the men’s race after the first 20 laps. L39ION of Los Angeles had Justin Williams with Alec Cowan, American Cycling had Summerhill and Sebastian Cano, DCC Alpecin had Mayr and Manuel Porzner, along with Will Hardin (Project Echelon), Evan McQuirk (ButcherBox) and Will Gleason (CSVelo). McQuirk was able to launch a solo attack, which lasted for another 20 laps.

Mayr launched a searing sprint to pass Summerhill for the victory, and Cowan, who recovered from an early crash, took third. 

“I was pretty sure I could make it, no matter what position I was in the last corner. I think I was 5th, and then I just fired it up. It was fine, I had two gears left,” Mayr said after his win.

US Pro and Canadian Road Nationals

Knoxville will host the US Pro Road, Time Trial and Criterium National Championships for a seventh time next week, June 22-25. The competition begins Thursday, June 22, in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, with time trial events, followed by criterium races on Friday night in downtown Knoxville and road races on Sunday. 

All three days of racing will be broadcast in the US on FloBikes, with live coverage available to subscribers on TV, desktop or mobile devices. 2023 marks the final year of the contract with Knoxville Sports Commission and USA Cycling.

The Canadian Road Championships will take place June 23-26 in Edmonton, Alberta, with a trio of separate events for elite men and women, as well as contests for juniors and para athletes. The time trial races take place on Friday at the Ministik Lake course, with road races across Saturday and Sunday and the criteriums on Monday in the Old Strathcona neighbourhood.

Under-23 champions will be crowned in all the Canadian Championships events for men and women, while women’s U23 winners will be recognised in the time trial and road race at US Pro Championships. USA Cycling holds separate U23 events for men at Amateur Road Nationals in Roanoke, Virginia, June 14-17.

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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).