Hernandez, Sierra, and Williams were suspended after the altercation at the end of the Pro Men’s race at the event.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado (August 25, 2022) — USA Cycling announced today the investigation results following the altercation at the Salt Lake Criterium, which occurred on July 16, 2022. As a result of the investigation, Michael Hernandez (Leesburg, Fla.; Best Buddies), Robert Sierra (Miami, Fla.; Best Buddies), and Justin Williams (Pomona, Calif.; L39ION of Los Angeles) all received suspensions.
After the race, USA Cycling immediately began an investigation of the incident, interviewing all three riders. The investigator also reviewed videos of the confrontation and interviewed other witnesses. As a result, the investigator found that all three riders violated USA Cycling rules prohibiting acts of violence among riders and unsportsmanlike conduct.
USA Cycling notified the offending riders of the investigation results and subsequent suspensions on July 25. All three riders were offered reduced sentences if they accepted the investigation results and subsequent suspension and served community service in conjunction with those suspensions. Hernandez and Sierra accepted USA Cycling’s offer, with Sierra accepting a one-month suspension with eight hours of community service, and Hernandez accepting a three-month suspension with sixteen hours of community service. Williams requested a hearing as allowed by USA Cycling’s Policy III. A three-member panel heard Williams’ case and upheld the suspension. Williams then accepted the initial five-month suspension recommended by the investigator beginning on July 25.
“USA Cycling has zero tolerance regarding violence, instigation of violence, and bullying. The behavior at the Salt Lake City Criterium is inexcusable,” said Brendan Quirk, CEO & President of USA Cycling. “We are working with the race organizers of the American Criterium Cup to increase our scrutiny of rider behavior in the peloton, including the use of video replay officials at the event. And while this will allow us to better identify dirty riding in real time, this doesn’t replace the need for riders to show basic respect for each other.”