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Top U.S. cyclist Chloé Dygert Owen suffers concussion in Tour of California crash

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Chloé Dygert Owen, a 21-year-old U.S. cycling phenom, suffered a concussion in a crash at the Tour of California on Thursday.

“Concussion for me, so sad to be out of the race,” was posted on Dygert Owen’s social media, along with video of her fall, helmet slamming onto the pavement. “Was floating back after my lead out pull for the final sprint, just an unlucky day.”

Dygert Owen is a two-time reigning world champion and world-record holder on the track in the individual pursuit, which is not an Olympic event. She also earned team pursuit gold medals at the last three worlds, plus silver at the Rio Olympics in that event.

Dygert Owen swept the individual 2015 World junior titles on the road 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.

She was also fourth in the time trial at road worlds last September.

She has excelled on the track and the road in the last year despite a torn hip labrum and bulging disk in her back, according to VeloNews.

“I still have pain, I have pain every day,” Dygert said, according to the report. “It’s constant but bearable for the most part, physical therapy helps.”

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MORE: Pollen causes greatest mountain biker in history to retire

Pollen causes greatest mountain biker in history to retire

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France’s Julien Absalon, the most decorated mountain biker in history and the only one with two Olympic titles, is retiring at age 37 in large part due to a pollen allergy, according to L’Equipe.

“I’ve been suffering from allergies to pollen in the south of France for the past three years, mostly at the start of the season,” Absalon said, according to an Agence France-Presse translation. “The doctor told me it would only get worse.”

Regarding taking medication to combat the allergy, possibly requesting a therapeutic use exemption for otherwise prohibited substances, Absalon said, “I don’t like to take too many medicines,” according to the report.

Absalon earned Olympic gold in 2004 (when his wife fainted from the heat at the race) and 2008 (dominating to win the two-hour event by more than one minute). He abandoned after a first-lap puncture in 2012, then ended his Olympic career in eighth place in Rio.

Absalon also won four straight world titles from 2004 through 2007, plus a fifth in 2014. He tacked on a seventh World Cup season title in 2016. Absalon said before the Rio Games he would retire that year, but he continued competing.

Absalon dropped out of the top five in the World Cup overall standings last season and was 41st in the only event so far this year.

Absalon said he will devote his time to managing a professional cycling team that he launched earlier this season, according to AFP.

NBC Olympic Research contributed to this report.

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‘Queen of BMX’ tears knee ligaments in World Cup fall

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Mariana Pajón, the 2012 and 2016 Olympic BMX champion and Colombia’s most decorated Olympian, is likely to miss the rest of the season after tearing left knee ligaments at a World Cup on Sunday.

Pajón, a three-time world elite race champion nicknamed the “Queen of BMX,” went down near the start of a semifinal heat at a World Cup in Papendal, Netherlands, and was carried off the course in a stretcher. Video is here.

Pajón, 26, detailed the knee injury — an ACL tear and partial MCL tear — on her social media Tuesday, according to Colombia’s cycling federation.

The world championships are next month in Baku, Azerbaijan.

U.S. Olympic silver medalist Alise Willoughby won last year’s world title in Rock Hill, S.C., where Pajón took bronze while bidding for a third world title in four years.

The U.S. is also home to the reigning men’s Olympic and world champions — Connor Fields and Corben Sharrah.

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