U.S. cyclist Chloé Dygert Owen added her first senior world road title to her five track golds, winning the 18-mile time trial by 1 minute, 32 seconds in rainy Yorkshire, Great Britain, on Tuesday.
Dygert Owen crossed the finish line in 42 minutes, 11 seconds, and collapsed onto the pavement getting off her bike before collecting herself.
Dygert Owen, a 22-year-old Olympic track silver medalist in the team pursuit, became the youngest man or woman to win a world title in the road time trial. She also won by the largest male or female margin in history, according to ProCyclingStats.com.
“Definitely really surprising,” Dygert Owen said on Eurosport. “I didn’t race with a power meter today, and I think that really helped not restricting myself, just kind of going as fast as I could the entire time and not really have anything to gauge it off of. Just making sure I hurt more than everybody else.”
And she qualified for the Tokyo Olympics, according to the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee.
Dutchwoman Anna van der Breggen took her fourth silver medal in the event. The two-time defending champion, Annemiek van Vleuten, earned bronze, 46 seconds ahead of American Amber Neben. Full results are here.
Dygert Owen, coming back from a May 2018 road crash and concussion, aims to make the Olympic team on both the track and the road. She is coached by Kristin Armstrong, the 2008, 2012 and 2016 Olympic time trial champion.
“I’m very injury-prone, so we have to take things very slow and really salvage everything,” said Dygert Owen, who has dealt with a torn hip labrum and bulging disk in her back. “I want to race as long as Kristin Armstrong did [until she was 43].”
Before the head injury, Dygert Owen swept 2017 and 2018 World titles on the track in the individual and team pursuits. She is the world-record holder in the individual pursuit, which is not an Olympic event.
She also swept individual 2015 World junior titles in the road race and time trial before taking her first pedals on a track bike. She became a competitive road cyclist in 2013 and missed most of 2014 after tearing an ACL playing basketball that January.
The men’s time trial at worlds is Wednesday.
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