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Legion of Los Angeles

In this strangest of seasons, the winds of change have blown through cycling and if Legion of Los Angeles have anything to do with it, those winds will continue to blow. As they prepare to go pro in 2021, we meet the members of America’s most consequential cycling team.

26 June 2020

"We are the change we want to see... We are on a mission to become the only black-owned professional cycling team in America in 2021. As of right now there are no black professional cyclists in America. We will change that and set an example for kids of all colors."


– Legion of Los Angeles

Legion of LA Jersey

A limited edition team jersey with an inverted design.

Support the team

For several years now, Legion of Los Angeles has been conquering all comers on the US crit scene. Led by Justin and Cory Williams, the team sprinted to prominence with upset wins over bigger domestic rivals. But a race result is only an upset for as long as it is a surprise, and these days a Legion win in a crit race is far from surprising.

The team is a dominant force whose uniquely diverse roster of riders have their sights set firmly on bridging the gap to the professional ranks in 2021. But this is a team that’s about far more than being good on the bike. At every race they enter, Legion’s tent is the place to be; their insightful race reports filmed from within the bunch have garnered a following of thousands online, and the team works hard to provide a pathway into the sport for young athletes from all backgrounds.

Being a part of Legion is about more than becoming a better cyclist, it’s about becoming a better person and redressing some of the imbalances that continue to characterise our sport. As they prepare for a return to racing this season, we met up with each member of the team to find out what it means to them to be a part of a team that’s making a difference.

Justin Williams

Sprinter/Team Manager

 

Race wins: 50

National titles: 11

Justin has a palmarès that puts most others to shame and he does far more than play the game, slowly but steadily he’s changing it too. After an up-and-down career that saw both he and his brother Cory denied the opportunities their race results demanded, Justin founded Legion of Los Angeles in 2019 and has won races across America in the stars and stripes of national champion. Now, in his multifaceted role as star sprinter, road captain and team manager, he’s focused on taking the team into the professional ranks in 2021.

 

Tyler Williams

 

Lead out man

 

California State TT champion

 

Former BMC Development rider

 

“After racing in Europe for years, I was left without a team last year. I was kind of done with being a professional cyclist and thinking about becoming a firefighter. But then I got back in touch with Justin and Cory, who I’ve known for years. I asked to compete as a guest rider for the team and they were about it. Everything came together at Boise Crit.

“That was my first time with them but I immediately felt at home within the squad. That whole trip was awesome. I have never felt so much a part of something, I gelled straight away with the guys and I fitted perfectly into what they needed me to do. From then on it was like: ‘This is what I’m going to be doing next year.’ Turns out, I was meant to be at Legion all along.”

 

Lance Haidet

 

All-rounder

 

U23 National Road Race + Cyclocross Champion

 

Combining racing with his studies, Lance has a lot going on. After starting out in cyclocross, he started racing on the road at 17 and has since ridden the Tour de l’Avenir and the Junior World Championships in the UK. “Last year I was racing for the Aevolo team and at every race that Legion showed up to, they absolutely crushed us. Some people might not have known them at the start of the year but they did by the end of it.”

For a young racer who wants to compete at the top level but not move permanently to Europe just yet, this team is the perfect fit: “Everything about the team is unique; their equipment is rad, they look awesome and the whole vibe that they have is special. I am just glad to be a part of it and to be learning from Justin and Cory.”

 

Eder Fayre

 

Climber

 

A lightweight climber among the criterium specialists, Eder hails from the north of Mexico but has raced in California since he was young. “Being from the north of Mexico, it was easier for me to race in California growing up. I met Justin and Cory ten years ago when we raced against each other as juniors, so we go a long way back. We’ve been rivals but always friends too and I’ve always admired their approach not only to racing but also to life.”

After a stint racing for a team in Spain, Eder returned to Mexico and began racing in the US again. His contrasting experiences on results-driven semi-professional teams have taught him that there’s more to life than pure performance. “I’m not into cycling for fame or fortune because it is not a big money sport; I like cycling because it helps make me a better person. That is something that I have learned on this team.”

Cory Williams

Sprinter / Team Manager

 

California State criterium champion

Better known as Nation’s Number One Beast on account of his prolific social media profiles, Cory co-founded the team and is well known for his insightful race reports, filmed on helmet cams during the race. After a stop start early career on a number of US domestic teams, he now rides in the unmissable colours of Californian criterium champion and explained to us how and why the team came about.

“Justin and I were both on pro teams, which can be kind of tough – a lot of rules. In 2018, he raced by himself, had way more fun, and decided that he wanted me to experience the same. He actually tried to get me to quit the team I was on but I rode the season out and then we formed Legion. For us to put a team together and win Tulsa Tough in the first year, against the guys we used to race with, was amazing.”

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