4 months agoby Tom Soladay

Moak conquers Athens Twilight

First time’s a charm for Sunny King champion

Entering the marquee race of USA Crits Speedweek, the Athens Twilight Criterium, Rally UHC Cycling’s Summer Moak and Erica Carney were focused. The duo was forced to settle for second and third place the previous night in Spartanburg, SC and were motivated for the top step of the podium in Athens.

Held in the University of Georgia’s backyard, 10,000 screaming fans lined the course as Erica Carney seized control of the peloton during the final laps. With the Sunny King Criterium champion Summer Moak on her wheel, Carney led through the final corner before Moak opened her sprint for a resounding victory over the previous night’s victor, Sam Schneider (CWA Racing p/b TREK).

“I’m over the moon,” said Moak. “Athen’s is on everyone’s criterium bucket list so to win on my first attempt feels like a dream.”

Moak was overjoyed during her post-race interview.

Moak was full of praise for her teammate and former two-time Athens Twilight champion, Erica Carney.

“Erica is amazing,” said Moak. “She has been racing these courses for years and her experience has been exactly what I need as a learning and developing rider. I owe the win to her and I couldn’t have done it without her.”

Carney leading eventual first and second place finishers, Moak and Schneider, early in the race.

Each course is unique and requires a different approach. With Athens changing their finishing straight from slightly downhill to slightly uphill in 2019, it was important to start your sprint from the front and avoid having to close any gaps.

“We knew If we won the final corner we would be hard to beat, so that’s exactly what we did,” said Moak. “Erica took some really strong pulls in the finale and it was up to me to finish it off.”

Moak now leads the overall standings of USA Crits Speedweek, a fact that doesn’t seem to distract from her goal of taking it, “one race at a time.”

Athens Twilight Criterium results
1 Summer MOAK Rally UHC Cycling 1:16:03. 1:16:03
2 Samantha Ann SCHNIEDER CWA Racing p/b TREK 1:16:04. s.t.
3 Katie CLOUSE DNA Pro Cycling Team 1:16:04. s.t.
4 Emma BAST Levine Law Group p/b Huseby.com 1:16:04. s.t.
5 Rachel LANGDON Fast Chance Womens Cycling p/b 1:16:04. s.t.
6 Nat REDMOND Fearless Femme Racing 1:16:05. s.t.
7 Mia KILBURG LUX/Sideshow p/b Specialized 1:16:05. s.t.
8 Madeline BEMIS Milligan Cycling 1:16:05. s.t.
9 Abigail YOUNGWERTH Specialized Wolfpack p/b Jakroo 1:16:05. s.t.
10 Michaela DRUMMOND DNA Pro Cycling Team 1:16:05. s.t.