Dygert-Owen dominates Steamboat stage of Colorado Classic, bags 4 jerseys (with video)
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Leading up to the start of the Colorado Classic, the race announcers alluded to one thing over and over: Stage 1 will not be close.
The 53.2 mile course had so much variety, from climbs to sprints to gravel, and the field was so competitive that the winner was likely going to be determined by a sprint between an elite few.
Contrary to their theory, the 53.2 mile stage in Steamboat Springs came down to one rider.
Finishing in two hours, 18 minutes and 59 seconds, Chloe Dygert-Owen won Stage 1 a whopping 48 seconds in front of the chase group.
With the victory, she walked away with four jerseys, including the coveted yellow Individual Race Leader jersey, as well as the jerseys for Sprint Leader, Queen of the Mountain and Best Young Rider.
“I’ve come back from several injuries this year, so this is probably one of the first races that I felt my normal self,” Dygert-Owen said. “I’ve had some really good training leading to this race. I’ve been at altitude for a couple days. I’m using this as a really big training block for future goals. I’m really happy with how today played out.”
The 22-year-old, who rides for Sho-Air Twenty20, began her dominant finish 10 miles out from the line. On the gravel portion of the course, the cyclist out of Brownsburg, Indiana, broke away from the pack. She won the second Queen of the Mountain climb before descending the remaining gravel segment.
“I knew there was a downhill section of the gravel, but I didn’t know what it was like,” she said. “I heard there was one sharp-ish turn, and I got to that, and I almost ate it.”
From there, the skills that earned her team pursuit silver medal at the 2016 Olympic Games came into effect.
In the final, gradually-downhill stretch back into town, Dygert-Owen created a massive gap between her and the ensuing chase group, which she held the rest of the way.
“I lucked out, had some good legs today, saw everybody suffering and when I looked back, I saw a little bit of a gap. We started to spread out, and I knew that was my chance,” Dygert-Owen said. “I just attacked and was able to hold it and keep it.”
Whitney Allison of Hagens-Berman/Supermint took second, with Tibco-SVB rider Brodie Chapman two seconds behind her, finishing third. At the time that Dygert-Owen took off, the pair were part of a 12-cyclist chase group.
“When I got back to the group with my teammate Lauren (Stephens), and we heard Chloe Dygert was up the road, my reaction was like, ‘Ah man, this is gonna be hard,’” said Chapman, who hails from Australia. “We tried to motivate the group we were with to roll and, at least, reduce the time to Chloe, but she was just on fire.”
Five days earlier, Chapman was the first woman to finish in the 140-mile SBT GRVL race.
“It’s definitely important to think about this as a four-day race,” she said. “I am a little bit fatigued from this gravel race a few days ago, so I kept that in mind and just tried to ride within myself.”
The race started calm, with the peloton sticking together, but ahead of the sprint in Oak Creek, a few breakouts began.
Rachel Langdon of Fearless Femme and Emily Newsom of Tibco-SVB battled for the sprint win, with Newsom crossing the line first. As Langdon dropped back into the peloton, Newsom won the first Queen of the Mountain climb.
Despite losing both the climb and sprint jersey to Dygert-Owen, Newsom earned the Most Badass Rider jersey. Lindsay Goldman of Hagens-Berman/Supermint was given the Most Inspirational Rider jersey.
- Individual Race Leader: Chloe Dygert-Owen
- Queen of the Mountain: Chloe Dygert-Owen
- Sprint Leader: Chloe Dygert-Owen
- Best Young Rider: Chloe Dygert-Owen
- Most Inspirational: Lindsay Goldman
- Most Badass: Emily Newsom
- 1. Chloe Dygert-Owen, Sho-Air Twenty20, 2:18.59
- 2. Whitney Allison, Hagens-Berman/Supermint, 2:19.47
- 3. Brodie Chapman, Tibco-SVB, 2:19.49
- 4. Marcela Prieto, Swapit-Agolico, 2:19.53
- 5. Lauren Stephens, Tibco-SVB, 2:19.53
- 6. Krista Doebel-Hickok, Rally-UHC, 2:19.53
- 7. Flavia Oliveira, Fearless Femme, 2:19.53
- 8. Justine Barrow, LUX/Flexential, 2:19.53
- 9. Katie Hall, U.S. Nat’l Team, 2:19.53
- 10. Anet Barrera, Swapit/Agolico, 2:19.53
- 27. Amy Charity, DNA Pro Cycling, 2:22.50
The Colorado Classic continues into Avon and Golden before concluding in Denver on Sunday, Aug. 25. At the conclusion of the four stages and 220 combined miles, a $75,000 prize purse is on the line.
“While it’s nice to take home a big prize purse, for me, what it means in the bigger picture, being recognized by this event, the supporters, having them acknowledge that we are worthy of the same prize purse that men would receive for this effort, it’s huge,” Goldman said. “It means everything. It makes me feel like I want to show up here and race as hard as I can.”
To reach Shelby Reardon, call 970-871-4253, email sreardon@SteamboatPilot.com or follow her on Twitter @ByShelbyReardon.
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