L39ION of Los Angeles, a USA Cycling Domestic Elite team operated by Williams Racing Development in California, announced the signing of Women’s WorldTour riders Kendall Ryan and Skylar Schneider for its co-ed team in 2021. Also for next year, a men’s UCI Continental squad will be added under the same name.
Ryan has raced the past six seasons with Team TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank, winning the Crystal City Cup and Clarendon Cup at the Armed Forces Cycling Classic in 2019 and a stage of the Amgen Tour of California Women’s Race empowered with SRAM in 2018. She was also a US Pro Criterium champion in 2015.
“Joining L39ION is a big deal to me. 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,” said Ryan in a team statement.
“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.”
Schneider, who won a stage of the LOTTO Thüringen Ladies Tour in 2017, has spent three seasons with Boels Dolmans Cycling Team. Only 22, she took a silver medal at the 2016 UCI Road World Championships in junior women’s road race.
“I will wear the Legion 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,” said Schneider. “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. So, it means a lot to me that they have chosen me to fulfill this role.”
A third American on the women’s side will be 24-year-old Avry Howes, who moves from Monster Racing Team. The men’s side of the DE team will be led by 11-time US national champion Justin Williams, and include Angel Munoz, Ama Nsek and Imeh Nsek.
Along with his brother Cory, Justin is part of Williams Racing Development, created to make opportunities that do not otherwise exist and open new doors for the next generation.
“We saw an opportunity to help people who were really talented American riders,” Justin added about the addition of Ryan and Schneider for the DE program. “Riders that deserve an opportunity to do the thing they love the most, and achieve their goals in the United States. We could help so we did.”
The men’s L39ION of Los Angeles continental team will focus on USA CRITS and USA Cycling Pro Road Tour events. A complete roster will be announced in the coming months.
In 2020, the men’s domestic team featured 10 riders, including the Williams brothers, Tyler Williams, Lance Haidet and Thomas Revard. The L39ION of Los Angeles team swept the podium at the 2020 Tour de Murrieta in March, with Cory taking the Omnium title, Tyler placing second and Justin in third.
During limitations created by COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and a string of cancelled events in 2020, the team noted in a press release that they continue work with Outride, a public nonprofit dedicated to improving the lives of youth through cycling.