As the sun set in Anniston, Alabama on Saturday night, Summer Moak sprinted to her first ever USA Cycling Pro Road Tour victory in the Sunny King Criterium. The Texas native lined up alongside teammate and 2012 champion Erica Carney for the one hour criterium and won the race from a select group that went clear in the final laps. The result extended Rally UHC Cycling’s lead in the season-long Pro Road Tour (PRT) competition.
“I’m super excited to take my first PRT win at Sunny King,” said Moak. “It feels really good, I love crit day. Erica and I race really well together and she helped me so much with knowing exactly what I needed to do to win. I was so happy to win for her and the team.”
As the uphill drag through the start/finish line began to take its toll on the peloton, the strongest riders started attacking the weakened field. Sensing danger, Moak lept across to eight riders as they rode away from the bunch inside of five laps remaining.
“Going into the race we knew that both Erica and myself could finish well,” said Moak. “Previous editions had ended in breakaways so it was super important for us to cover any dangerous moves. We were confident in each other’s abilities that any combination was going to be good for us.”
Multiple teams had a numbers advantage in the breakaway so Moak had to do some extra work to plug the gaps.
“With two laps to go, I was seeing stars from all of the efforts so I tried to recover the best I could and position myself for the sprint,” said Moak. “I remember thinking that I just needed to make it the finishing straight and give it my very last go. I came out of the final corner in third wheel and had enough to kick it in for the win.”
Sunny King Criterium results
1 Summer Moak Rally UHC Cycling
2 Laura Jorgensen Fast Chance Cycling
3 Daniely Garcia CWA Racing pb Trek