American track and time trial ace Chloe Dygert will pull on the Canyon Sram jersey for the first time in over a year at La Vuelta Feminina next week.
The team announced this morning that the former time trial World Champion will race for the team for the first time since Omloop Het Nieuwsblad in 2022. In fact it’ll be just her third time riding in team colours on the road since she signed a contract to ride for them from the start of 2021.
That period has been plagued by injury, most notably her horrific crash at the 2020 World Championship that left her with huge cuts to her leg.
In announcing her return she said: "Some setbacks in my winter training blocks derailed my early season plans. I would say I've had more spring training than winter training in preparation for this season. But I am happy to be now healthy and fit enough to join Canyon Sram for La Vuelta.”
Dygert was racing at the Track Nations Cup at the weekend in Canada, there she placed fourth in the team pursuit with the USA squad.
She said: “I can say I am finally 100% healthy, just a few aches and pains here and there. I haven't been this healthy in three years. I still have to work on my fitness, but I am just so happy to be back racing."
Dygert is treating the race as a way to prepare for her other goals this season. She added: “I would love to race the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift. With World Championships being so close to the race we will have to sit down to discuss what my body is capable of at the time before we can make the decision on the race.
“Olympics and World Championships are the ultimate goals, so we want to do everything that will give me the best opportunity to get there.”
The rest of the German-registered squad taking the startline in Spain is Ricarda Bauernfeind, Elise Chabbey, Chloé Dygert, Kasia Niewiadoma, Pauliena Rooijakkers, Agnieszka Skalniak-Sójka and British national champion Alice Towers.
When healthy Dygert has always been one of the most formidable riders in the world. She won the World Championship time trial in Yorkshire by 1-32 over Anna van der Breggen in September 2019. In February 2020 she put in a dominant pursuing performance at the track World Championships powering the USA team to victory over Great Britain and went on to lower the individual pursuit world record twice over the course of the meet on the way to victory in that competition. The record of 3.16.937 still stands.
However, she has herself admitted that her body is fragile. After her time trial worlds win, which itself followed a period of recovery from a torn hip labrum and a bulging disk in her back, she told the press: “I’m very injury-prone, so we have to take things very slow and really salvage everything.”
She’ll hope that her return to road racing in Spain signals she’s back to health for good.
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