Justin Williams & L39ION organize $100,000 Crit: Into The Lions Den powered by SRAM

October 30th event in Sacramento for all you heavy hitters:

Open race is prizes only.


Source: https://www.endurancesportswire.com/l39ion-of-los-angeles-and-the-city-of-sacramento-announce-the-inaugural-downtown-cycling-event-into-the-lions-den-powered-by-sram/

Local clubs are already posting group rides - its an easy ride to the Capitol for most in the metro Sacramento area! Like the opening scene from the Bond film Spectre, I need to find a Day of the Dead mask to wear along with my DeathRide jersey - because prizes will be awarded :joy:


Official site:


Thank you L39ION of Los Angeles & Justin Williams, City of Sacramento, and SRAM.


Heh, not sure if the typical 20 minutes of awards is gonna cut it to dole out $100k. :slight_smile:

kudos to them for trying to do some things to enrich our sport.


LOL, right? More than 20 minutes is going to be needed… from the VeloNews article:

“For each race, $10,000 of the purse is earmarked for mid-race primes—races within the race designed to whip up the pace. The remaining $40,000 will be paid to the top-ten riders who cross the line. Organizers have yet to determine the exact sum taken home by the winners, but say it will be a healthy five-figure payout.”

that is 22 podium trips if there is only 1 prime.

Have you seen where the funding for the whole thing is coming from? I haven’t seen it yet and am curious. It’s expensive to put on a race, much less one with this big a purse.
ETA: I see that SRAM is providing funding, but I find it hard to believe they’re providing everything…

Based on those articles it seems like SRAM is funding it

Prize money for the Cat5s would make for quite a spectacle, methinks.

1 Like

Is there a cat 5 race? I thought I only saw an open race and a pro race

1 Like

”We can’t wait to watch the pro riders come down the home straightaway in front of the Capitol at close to 40 mph,” said Ken Lousberg, SRAM CEO. “Thank you to Mayor Steinberg, the city agencies, Visit Sacramento, Justin and Cory Williams, and the Sacramento cycling community for coming together to create this great event.”

Believe the city has development funds/agencies/partners, in addition to what I’m guessing is a big contribution from SRAM.

1 Like

Think this will draw any unexpected teams or riders to the race? I don’t follow crit racing closely, but it seems like legion has been dominating. Maybe they’ll just win all the money back :grin:


Prize money is only for the pro race. There’s an open 1/2/3 (men/women combined) that has “prizes” and that’s it.

The dev funds from the city etc. would make sense. I could see SRAM funding the purse and maybe a bit extra, but there’s a lot more that goes into putting on a race like this… they’ll need police, permits, barriers, some sort of officials (even though this isn’t USAC, they’ll still need to make sure that they keep track of who wins etc… I wouldn’t be surprised if they use USAC officials in a non-USAC capacity…)… plenty of other costs. Maybe they’ll make money back with vendors, but it costs a lot to put these on. Having the city and other agencies partner with them will help reduce that, but I’d still think this is going to cost them a bunch beyond the purse.

1 Like

Isn’t that what the registration fees are supposed to cover?

While its not impossible, its pretty hard for any bike race that actually has expenses to fully cover those expenses just from registrations. That’s true for local races and even more so for a high end pro race where the production level is usually higher and more costly. As soon as you’re blocking off streets for a day (or two) (barriers and cops needed) and you hire officials and a timing outfit to do scoring (finish line camera etc), costs add up and any big time pro race is going to just have more of all that production stuff. That’s why all bike races have sponsors :wink:


The PR/marketing return-on-investment will be huge and likely will preclude any need to balance their budget.

yeah, I get the sponsors as well. dhellman’s comment made it sound like he expected the money to come out of their pocket. They’ve made it clear this is a business, so I’m assuming they intend to make money.

Agree but this isn’t a small-time organizer trying to break even. This is worldwide marketing with, I expect, an explosion of content from L3GION and SRAM on social media. I would be shocked if they expected to make all of their money back on the event.

Make money or at least break even. In essence, Legion is a lead sponsor and the exposure helps their sponsors so they don’t actually have to be putting cash in the bank at the end to benefit from this event.

And I also think they are sincere about trying to grow the sport, which this event fits in with.

@STP’s summary is pretty much on point. This is even more so for something that expects to make a profit. As far as I know, the only way they can break even is with sponsors, particularly with a $100k purse. I don’t know how sponsors would make money back… but I’ve wondered if SRAM really misses having the Tour of California. They had sponsored that race, and $100k is probably peanuts compared with what they spent on ToC. But I have no clue how this much marketing spend turns into actually making money back… the classic quote is, “Half of my advertising money is wasted; I just don’t know which half.”