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Sunny King queen: Schneider’s day to shine arrives | Sports

When Skylar Schneider to start with raced in the Sunny King Criterium, she was not outdated ample to drive a motor vehicle without having supervision. 

She could race her bike with the ideal of them, having said that. Seven years afterwards, she raced the 20th Sunny King Crit much better than all of them.

The 23-12 months-outdated star for L39ion of Los Angeles Racing emerged from the remaining sprint victorious Saturday in downtown Anniston. Her big smile immediately after winning rivaled the sparkle of gold chain that dangled from her neck through her seemingly effortless ride.

“I’ve been coming here considering the fact that I was 15 chasing this crown,” Schneider claimed. “It feels superior to get it carried out.”

Finest Buddies Racing’s Alfredo Rodriguez followed Schneider’s victory with one of his own in the men’s pro race, continuing on just after injuring his right hand in a scary early-race crash that despatched Automated/ABUS Racing’s Dalton Collins to the healthcare facility.

The Sunny King Crit, the initial leg of the weekend’s Alabama Biking Basic, continued its 20-12 months operate as the sports anchor for the Noble Street Competition. It also led off the new 10-race American Criterium Cup, which changed the now-dissolved Usa CRITS.

Saturday’s pro races offered $12,000 purses disbursed in excess of the prime 20 locations. The Cup delivers a $100,000 purse for the collection.

The Sunny King Crit ongoing its tradition of drawing prime racing groups, like L39ion and Best Buddies.

Schneider, the youthful sister of 2016 Sunny King Crit winner Samantha Schneider, prevailed Saturday in excess of DNA Pro Cycling’s Maggie Coles-Lyster and L39gion teammate Alexis Ryan.

It was a huge Cup get started for the newly expanded L39ion team.

“This is only the next yr that our race group has been in existence,” Schneider reported. “Last 12 months, we had two riders, and this year we have seven.

“We just have a actually very good cohesive group, and it feels like spouse and children.”

The Schneiders variety of experience like family members for Sunny King Crit.

Skylar initially raced in Anniston in 2015, at age 15. She wasn’t supposed to return in 2016 for the reason that of United states of america Cycling obligations abroad, but a March 22 terrorist assault in Brussels killed 32 people today moreover the a few bombers. Among penalties of the deadliest act of terrorism in Belgium’s record was it forced United states Biking to cancel its journey.

She’s crafted very the career considering the fact that, with 21 experienced victories in 2021 on your own, but her preceding very best complete in Anniston was third position. She dominated Saturday, breaking out early and dropping again then re-rising just after the field leaders shuffled five periods in the remaining lap.

“I appreciate Anniston, and it feels superior to last but not least get the career performed like my sister,” Schneider reported.

In the men’s discipline, Rodriguez and Greatest Buddies made their move to the entrance with 3 laps to go. They formed an aqua-and-black coach reminiscent of the United Health care “blue train” and won the subject dash.

Rodriguez took the top rated place on the podium, with 2nd-spot finisher Automatic’s Thomas Gibbons and L39ion’s Ty Magner in 3rd.

Rodriguez was drawn into a main turn-3 crash that pressured a race restart. Collins’ handlebar snagged a barrier, Gibbons stated, turning his bike and leading to a chain response. 

Collins was transported to Regional Clinical Center in Anniston. Collins’ teammates did not know his issue promptly right after the race, and a message to his staff inquiring about his condition experienced not been answered as of this producing.

Rodriguez raced on with a sore right hand.

“My hand was damage the entire race, and when I was sprinting, it was so tricky,” he claimed. “I was sprinting very good, but I’m thankful for my group.”

Magner, the 2015 champion, has Anniston ties. His mother, Rose Magner, was born in Anniston. Her father, Jack Casey, grew up in Jacksonville. Grandfather, Frank Casey, was mayor of Jacksonville. 

Ty Magner produced his sixth Sunny King visual appearance Saturday.

“I’m constantly seeking to get in this article to this race,” he said. “We only had two guys here. There was a huge race in California this weekend, but I was like, I’ve obtained to be in Anniston.”

Sports Writer Joe Medley: 256-235-3576. On Twitter: @jmedley_star.