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L39ION of LA, the elite crit squad helmed by Cory and Justin Williams, has announced the creation of a co-ed Domestic Elite team headlined by Skylar Schneider and Kendall Ryan, as well as the creation of a men’s UCI Continental squad.
In addition to Schneider, fresh off three years with top Women’s WorldTour team Boels Dolmans, and Ryan, a stage winner at the Tour of California, the team also picked up 24-year-old Avry Howes, as well as the brothers Ama and Imeh Nsek, who have both spent time with the US National development squad. Angel Munoz rounds out the Domestic Elite side of the team.
“It’s incredible to have the opportunity to assist Skylar in her journey,” Justin Williams told CyclingTips. “I have a lot of respect for her and what she’s done at such a young age. I hope we can do right by her and give her everything she needs to land wherever she wants to be in the coming years. That could be here with us, or that could be back on the world stage. I have a soft spot for sprinters and can’t wait to teach her everything I know; then watch her apply it and win the biggest races in the country.”
A full roster of the UCI Continental team, which will ride under the L39ION of LA name, has not yet been released. Both teams will be managed by Williams Racing Development, the management company started by the Williams brothers.
The signings and new Continental team are part of the team’s mission to promote diversity in cycling.
“We believe that representation is important and we want to ensure that people from every demographic feel included in a sport that has the potential to change many lives,” the team said in a statement. “We are committed to building community and developing a platform for the future of American cycling.”
Schneider spent three years with the world’s top Women’s WorldTour Team, signing with the squad when she was just 19 after dominant displays across the US circuit.
“I will wear the L39ION of Los Angeles colors with pride in 2021, knowing that the sponsors on the jersey and supporters around the world are united in creating a more diverse and inclusive sport,” Schneider said. “As a professional athlete and a woman I feel empowered to use my platform and position with L39ION of Los Angeles to make a difference.”
Ryan has been one of the United States’ top sprinters for a decade. She raced with TIBCO since 2011.
“Joining L39ION is a big deal to me,” she said. “I fell in love with the sport of cycling at a young age by racing criteriums in Southern California. The Williams brothers and I were on the same junior team, Major Motion. I learned a lot from them; how to sprint, how to be aggressive, and how to position myself for success. My goals are to encourage desire and participation of women in the sport of cycling, equality of women in cycling, share my knowledge with the up and coming, and win every race we show up to.”
CyclingTips is currently developing a monthly podcast with Justin Williams called From the Gun, which will launch as the team kicks off its 2021 campaign.