Hlady Takes a Last Lap Flier to Win the U23 Men’s Criterium National Title at the 2024 Pro Road National Championships

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Mclain and Che earn National Titles in the Junior Women’s and Men’s Criteriums.

CHARLESTON, West Virginia (May 16, 2024) — The 2024 USA Cycling Pro Road National Championships resumed Thursday evening for night one of the twilight criterium. Junior Women 17-18, Junior Men 17-18, and Under-23 Men were the first to take on the course through downtown Charleston.

Junior Women’s 17-18 Criterium

26 athletes from around the nation lined up for the Junior Women’s 17-18 Criterium. Racing for a total of 45-minutes, riders competed on a six-corner criterium course lined with hundreds of fans, including many professional athletes that raced the day before. In a game of cat and mouse, the dcdevo team launched several attacks off the front, which split the main field into two. Only 14 riders remained in the lead group for most of the race. West Virginia native, Alyssa White (Elkins, W.V.; dcdevo Racing Academy) launched a solo attack off the front with just a few laps to go but was caught on the last lap. Back together again just before the last corner, it came down to a group sprint where Landrie Mclain (Bella Vista, Ark.; BMC Walmart Oz Development) and Alyssa Sarkisov (North Potomac, Md.; dcdevo Racing Academy) finished just inches apart in first and second, respectively. When Mclain was asked about her victory ride she said, “It feels amazing to win. Honestly, I’m just so blessed to be able to be here and I thank my parents 100% for their support and I’m just so happy they came here with me. The race was so much fun. It was fast and technical with the mindset where you had to think about where everybody was. I enjoyed it so much!” Bridget Ciambotti (Charlottesville, Va.; Twenty24 Aevolo) rounded out the podium in third.

Results:

    1. Landrie Mclain (Bella Vista, Ark.; BMC Walmart Oz Development)
    2. Alyssa Sarkisov (North Potomac, Md.; dcdevo Racing Academy)
    3. Bridget Ciambotti (Charlottesville, Va.; Twenty24 Aevolo)

Junior Men’s 17-18 Criterium

The Junior Men 17-18 took the line immediately after the completion of the Junior Women’s 17-18 race. 74 athletes were called up to race for 60-minutes. It was a game of exchanging launched attacks between the Hot Tubes Development Cycling and EF-Education-ONTO teams, with moments of solo breakaways, but the field continued to hang on and stay formed. All together going into the final lap, it came down to a group sprint where Alejandro Che (Torrance, Calif.; Hot Tubes Development Cycling) and yesterday’s Time Trial champion, Ashlin Barry (Toronto, Canada.; EF Education-Onto) finished just feet apart in first and second, respectively. Che was elated after the finish saying, “Oh, it was crazy! It was Hot Tubes vs. EF, and there were fireworks going on everywhere. But in the end, all the cards ended up where they were supposed to be, and it ended up happening how it was supposed to happen. It was perfect.” Eneas Caden Freyre(Redding, Conn.; Kelly Benefits Strategies Cycling) rounded out the podium in third.

Results:

    1. Alejandro Che (Torrance, Calif.; Hot Tubes Development Cycling)
    2. Ashlin Barry (Toronto, Canada.; EF Education-Onto)
    3. Eneas Caden Freyre (Redding, Conn.; Kelly Benefits Strategies Cycling)

U23 Men’s Criterium

The night concluded with the marquee event, the U23 Men’s Criterium. The roster was stacked with top teams from around the country. Kelly Benefit Strategies made the first attack but was soon reeled in by the group of over 40 riders. That attack was followed by a big push from Gavin Hlady (Riverside, Calif.; Aevolo Cycling). He was later joined byCaleb Landgrebe (Senoia, Ga.; Work Hard Be Humble Cycling Team) and Luke Elphingstone (Boulder, Colo.; Kelly Benefits Strategies). The group was caught with the tail end of the race approaching.

Gavin Hlady (Aevolo) on his way to winning the Men’s U23 Criterium National Championship. Photo by Snowy Mountain Photography, courtesy USA Cycling

Several riders attempted a flier, but nothing stuck until Gavin Hlady (Riverside, Calif.; Aevolo Cycling) launched another solo attack. Hlady held it and crossed the line first to become the U23 Men’s Criterium National Champion.

Hlady originally had a different plan in his head heading into the last few laps saying, “I spent a lot of the day just rolling some breaks and just trying to help the team out, being up the road. And then just at the end, I was setting up for, maybe a lead out for Brody and the rider from Work Hard Be Humble sent one and I just hoped straight on, rode it for half a lap, dropped him, and by then the group had just completely sat up. So, then it was just a nice little victory lap.”

With hundreds of spectators surrounding the course the energy under the lights was barely insurmountable but Hlady’s win was a special one saying, “It was amazing under the lights, it just could not be better. The atmosphere was great here in Charleston. I could barely hear the crowds over my own screaming, I was super excited.” Finishing in second was Nathan Cusack (Chevy Chase, Md.; Kelly Benefits Strategies Cycling) with Luca Haines (Durango, Colo.; Team California P/B Verge) rounding out the podium in third.

Results:

    1. Gavin Hlady (Riverside, Calif.; Aevolo Cycling)
    2. Nathan Cusack (Chevy Chase, Md.; Kelly Benefits Strategies Cycling)
    3. Luca Haines (Durango, Colo.; Team California P/B Verge)
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