Legion of LA
Justin Williams, Kendall Ryan, Cory Williams...do these names mean anything to you? If they don’t, they should. They are all part of Legion of LA (styled L39ION), a revolutionary cycling team launched in the US to disrupt the pro cycling scene. Why are they revolutionary? Well, for one, they're the first black-owned pro cycling team, with brothers Justin and Cory Williams at the helm. And secondly, their ethos is built around improving diversity in cycling, as well as providing young American riders with opportunities at making a living through races at home.
The team began in 2019 with just the Williams brothers on the roster. They even used Rapha CC jerseys for their first few races while they got the team off the ground. The two brothers used their results to gain sponsors and popularity, with their Instagram page quickly becoming internationally popular. In that same year, Justin won the amateur Crit National Championships, with brother Cory winning the California State Championships shortly after.
A team bustling with talent, they put their newfound publicity to good use after Justin won the prestigious Tulsa Tough race, working with Specialized to give away a Specialized Allez to a young rider. The Specialized Allez is the most advanced aluminium road bike that we've ever made and is the perfect starter race bike. Great as a criterium racer or as an everyday training bike, it's versatile and can handle any race you throw at it.
Diversity and development
The brothers signed a full team for 2020, with a healthy programme of US criterium races in their sights. But winning isn't all that's important to this team. Their mission is to remove barriers to cycling, and they're helping to redefine what being part of the US cycling community actually means. For years, if riders wanted a chance at a pro contract, they had to produce seriously impressive results in the US and then move over to Europe, where the majority of the high stakes road races take place. Instead, Legion are redefining what it means to be a bike racer, and where you need to be to make it big.
As well as raising funds for junior talent camps and hosting events in the hope of expanding participation in cycling, one idea Cory had was to redesign a pair of shoes with a unique 'Equality' design. This design was used on both S-Works 7 and Torch shoes, making them accessible to a variety of budgets and getting the Legion message out.
The S-Works 7 is our top of the line road shoe, using the stiffest, lightest combination of materials. The Powerline™ carbon sole is rigid for optimum power transfer while not sacrificing comfort, and we used the best of our Body Geometry knowledge to combine the Longitudinal Arch, Varus Wedge and Metatarsal Button features.
The Torch shoes are our affordable performance road shoes. They contain much of the same technology as the higher end shoes but at a more accessible price point. One Boa dial combined with a velcro strap keeps the shoe snug, while the Body Geometry sole construction keeps it comfortable for long miles in the saddle.
This year, the team has launched into the professional ranks as a UCI Continental team and added two female riders to their line-up. To reflect their move into the pro ranks, the team’s kit gets a step up too, maintaining an image that is as exciting as their riders. Already one of America’s most popular cycling teams, L39ION of LA rides custom Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL7s to complete the all-out racing package.
The Tarmac SL7 is our ultimate road race bike. It’s the perfect combination of aerodynamics and lightweight climbing ability, used the world over by the most ambitious and successful bike riders. Complemented by a custom Legion paint job and a top of the range SRAM groupset, this is the bike of dreams and has already proved its worth in multiple UCI races and criteriums this year alone.
With the combination of super bikes and a super attitude, L39ION of LA is a force to be reckoned with in US cycling, and we can't wait to see what they accomplish. If you fancy having a look at an S-Works Tarmac SL7 in the flesh, why not pop down to one of our Concept Stores? Click here to find your local store.
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