Last week in Richmond, Virginia, Chloe Dygert accomplished what only Nicole Cooke and Geneviève Jeanson* have done before: win both of the Junior Women’s Road Race and Time Trial titles in the same year. Chloe did it with authority too winning the time trial and the road race by over a minute. She soloed the last lap of the road race on her way to victory. What made it even sweeter for the United States team is that Emma White was able to capture Silver in both the time trial and road race behind Chloe.
Last week was a very big week for United States Cycling. It was a very big week for Chloe. And, it was a very big week for me as her coach. But…it took more than just me to help Chloe do what she did last week.
I am thankful that Logan Owen had absolute trust in me when he suggested that I work with Chloe to get her dialed in for the World Championships. I am also thankful for Kristin Armstrong who gave me some pointers on what she thought would be important to work on for the time trial, for Jim Miller for his suggestion on some specific motor pacing work, for Dave Wenger and Barney King for assuring me that I was on the right track, for Nicola Cranmer for her support as Chloe’s trade team director and a huge thanks for Ina Yoko-Teutenberg and Jack Seehafer for their advice and directing acumen for the entire United States Junior Women’s team. Winning a World Championship takes a village. That much is certain.
Lastly, I am thankful that I listened to my gut when it came to coaching Chloe. Chloe has the ability, that much is obvious. How you advise and steer that ability – well, that is the my job. When you have a thoroughbred like Chloe you really need to know how much to push and how much pull back and that really gets heightened (and stressful) when you have to get it exactly right on the two days that the World Championships happen. This was really only Chloe’s second year racing and she was doing a lot of things (travel, higher level races, etc) that were new to her. Plus she started college just a few weeks prior to Richmond. Because of that she came down with bronchitis. Two weeks out I knew I really couldn’t get Chloe any faster but if we pushed too much….we could get her slower. So, as I had for the previous three months following Nationals, I listened to my gut. And she crushed.
Oh yeah, one more thing I am thankful for…that Jennifer and I decided to go. As is evident in the photo, I messed myself up pretty well just three weeks prior. I broke four ribs, my pelvis and punctured my lung. On a Monday night we had pretty much decided that it was going to be too much for me to make the trip. Then Tuesday morning I woke up and thought about the fact that the Cycling World Championships had not been in the United States in over twenty-nine years, that I had not one but two medal contenders that I coached in the races and that we had VIP access. So…the next thought was “Fuck it! We are going.” I am thankful that we did.
Here is a link to Chloe’s post race interview following her second world title: Chloe Dygert on Steephill