SANDY, Utah – The Salt Lake City Criterium p/b LHM is back for another year on the American Crit Cup calendar this Sunday. The racing is set to be as hot as ever as a new course and an ever-changing cast of characters bring professional racing back to the Beehive state once again.

The race began in 2019 as a built-for-pro racing event bringing criterium back to the heart of Salt Lake. At the time, the Tour of Utah was an institution on the UCI calendar and looked set to continue to be a premier cycling event in the United States. With that energy at its back, the Salt Lake Crit was a convenient companion event, plugging into the enthusiasm a large UCI stage race can bring to a cycling community.

Fast forward five years and the pro cycling landscape in Utah has changed dramatically. In 2020 the COVID-19 pandemic and a change in investments spelled the end of the Tour of Utah which left a massive vacuum in Utah’s calendar despite the enthusiasm and success of the events that had called the state home. Fortunately, the Salt Lake Criterium was there to help fill the void with the two-day series returning post-pandemic in 2021 and growing on what started in 2019 with strong courses and live-streaming for the professional events.

As time goes by the race continues to innovate and look for ways to elevate its status and prestige as a part of the premier criterium series in the US. This year, the race is trying out a brand new course in the southern Salt Lake suburb of Sandy, Utah, to switch things up from the standard flat, four-corner courses that are the bread and butter of American criterium racing. Instead of a flat rectangle, the Salt Lake stop of the ACC will take on a long sweeping course with a hefty dose of climbing to provide an opportunity for some fresh names in the hunt for the season-long quest for glory on the American professional racing scene.

What’s more, as a race that has always been geared towards the professional fields, both the men’s and women’s races will be broadcast live on the American Criterium Cup’s YouTube channel. The live stream, which is free to watch, will allow cycling fans the chance to delve into the tactics and intrigue of American criterium racing one a day that should provide a unique spectacle if the previous three stops of the ACC are anything to go off of.

Facts and figures:

Where does the Salt Lake Criterium take place? The ACC race at the Salt Lake Criterium weekend takes place in Sandy, Utah around the Real Salt Lake soccer stadium.

What is the date and time of the event? Both of the races will take place on Sunday, July 7 with the 70-minute women’s pro race starting at 2:00 PM mountain time while the men’s 70-minute race begins at 3:20 PM.

What are the course attributes? The Salt Lake Sandy criterium is a 0.80-mile course with 60 feet of elevation gain per lap that swings its way around the Real Salt Lake MLS stadium.

How many editions of the Salt Lake Criterium have taken place? The race began in 2019 and will celebrate its fifth edition this summer.

Who won the event in 2023? Paola Muñoz and Reinardt Janse van Rensburg the women’s and men’s professional races last year.

The course


The Salt Lake City promoters have partnered with Real Salt Lake, the MLS club that calls the Great Salt Lake Basin home, to put together a unique course around the team’s soccer stadium to offer a chance for the punchier riders to race for the win. With three proper corners and 60 feet of climbing over the 0.80-mile course, there is a chance for lots to happen throughout the afternoon with many tactical plans to choose from. The turns come in the first half of the course, while the climbing comes in the last 200 meters of the race and through the last turn. Therefore, if it ends in a sprint, there could be a chance for a different type of fast finisher to grab the win in the dash up to the line.

Compared to the other events on the ACC calendar, Salt Lake is one of the newcomers which allows the race to play with its courses as it develops. In Sandy, the organizers have found a course that is built to push outside of the rectangular mold that has constricted them in the past. Even if it is a bit outside of the downtown itself, and perhaps further afield from those who might stumble onto the bike racing during an evening out and about, the new Salt Lake course is tailored to create an event that racers will remember.

Additionally, with Salt Lake’s harsh winters and scorching summers, it can be challenging to find a course with good pavement in the city itself. The course in Sandy, however, is all new pavement which will provide the conditions for a smooth, fast, and safe race.

The Contenders

In the women’s event, Skylar Schnieder of the Miami Blazers has been the stand-out performer in the ACC this season and will be looking to continue her supremacy this weekend in Salt Lake City as she makes her way through a full calendar of North American criterium racing. Schnieder will be backed by her sister, Samantha, while Alexi Ramirez and Julyn Aguila round out a strong four-person squad.

After a couple of weeks away, the Blazers will be up against the L39ion of Los Angeles squad who will match Miami with four strong riders of their own. Kendall Ryan, the winner of the first ACC stop in Tulsa, is back leading the squad and will be supported by her sister Alexis Magner. Additionally, those two will be supported by Llori Sharpe and Yarely Salazar to round out their four-person team.

DNA Pro Cycling will be the other big team to watch as the Salt Lake-based team has a strong sprinter of their own in Rylee McMullen who will be vying for the win in their hometown race. Unfortunately, the team just announced that they will be leaving the sport at the end of 2024, but nevertheless, the team will be hoping to end on a high with a win at a big crit this summer.

On the men’s side, REIGN Storm racing is the favorite by committee as the team has the first and third-place riders in the ACC standings in Bryan Gomez and Jordan Parra as both of those riders have won ACC races in Milwaukee and Boise respectively. They have been assisted in their wins by Danny Summerhill who has played the role of teammate perfect while also snagging the green mid-race sprint jersey along the way.

While REIGN Storm are the main favorites, they will have to watch a full lineup of 100 riders who will be looking to spoil their party. First and foremost is L39ion of Los Angeles who will be lining up with a strong team of five riders who can win the race in a myriad of ways. Robin Carpenter, Alec Cowan, and Kyle Murphy will be looking to try and force a breakaway, while Ty Magner will look for the sprint.

Likewise, the Miami Blazers will have six strong riders on the startline including Tyler Williams, Richard Holec, and Eder Fraye to play the team’s attack card, as Cory Williams, Noah Granigan, and Jonny Clarke will be the sprint core for the team. The Austin Outlaws, the last of the Williams Development collective of teams, might have the smallest of the three teams with only three riders, but they have strong options in Lucas Bourgoyne, Luke Fetzer, and Spencer Moavenzadeh.

Beyond those main favorites, there are several strong local riders and teams will be racing in front of home crowds. EMPYR Cycling is a team based in Salt Lake and has been building results throughout the season. Additionally, Cliff Family Drifters had a strong showing in Boise and will be back in Salt Lake with two local racers lining up for their team.

In terms of the ACC, it is also important to note Clever Martinez who is a one-man band, but a rider committed to the full series who is climbing up the standings every race. Salt Lake could suit his attributes so watch out for the man with the GoPro amongst the fray at the finish. Additionally, mountain biker turned crit racer Liam Baartman from the Bear Development setup has been making inroads into the road scene and his strength seems perfect for the uphill drag to the finish.

Live coverage details

With a made-for-TV course and a strong field, be sure to subscribe to the American Criterium Cup YouTube channel to watch the live stream beginning right before the women’s race at 2:00 PM mountain time. Additionally, be sure to follow the ACC on Instagram @americancritcup to check out additional coverage around the Salt Lake Criterium and the full slate of summer races that make up America’s top criterium series.

LIVE Salt Lake Criterium p/b LHM | CC American Criterium Cup, July 7, 2024