Peloton Watch
  Chloe Dygert chasing Olympic dream at Track World Championships  
  February 27th 2016  
  Five months ago Chloe Dygert stormed to the attention of the cycling world as she dominated both the junior time trial and road race winning two rainbow jerseys at the UCI Road World Championships in Richmond. But two years ago it was a different story as Dygert was stuck at home recovering from a torn ACL.

The fact that it was Dygert's second major reconstructive surgery makes the journey even more incredible. "At that point, I thought I was done," Dygert said. "I knew I'd recover but I didn't think ever get back on the bike!

"Rio was always a goal for me, but after the injury I just didn't know what was going to happen."

Now the 19 year old is in London ready to again pull on the US skinsuit and chase gold and her Rio Olympic dream. This time it is on the track in the team pursuit. "It feels great, but the hard work still continues. I'm really excited to see what comes in the future."

Dygert's journey to the track started in October last year following her world championship success where she tested on the track for a spot in the team pursuit with the Rio Olympic games the objective.

Not surprisingly Dygert impressed and made her track debut at the Hong Kong World Cup in January. "Since it was my first ever track event I didn't really know what to expect, but I was very happy how we rode.

In Hong Kong Dygert combined with seven-time world champion Sarah Hammer, Jennifer Valente, Ruth Winder and Kelly Caitlin to claim bronze. Just behind winners Canada and silver medallists Great Britain.

"I knew we had a strong team so I wasn't too surprised to have been able to podium, but it definitely was an honour and privilege to ride all three efforts to contribute to the bronze," explained Dygert on claiming a medal in her first ever track competition against some of the best in the world.

"Other than the actual team pursuit efforts themselves, getting over the jet lag!" revealed Dygert when asked about the biggest challenge. "We were in Hong Kong for a total of ten days, and it took me nine to finally adapt to the sixteen-hour time difference."

Lining up in London on the biggest stage there is continues Dygert's rapid rise to her second World Championships in six months. Something many aspire to even once in their career.

"It's pretty exciting! I had a little over three months to learn how to ride on the track, so it's definitely an honour," explained Dygert on being selected for her first Track World Championships. One that has been described as the biggest in modern history with 50,000 tickets sold.

The US team arrived in London late last week after a busy training camp first putting in the road miles up the Honey Springs climb before moving to VELO Sports Centre for some final track preparation.

"Our preparation for Worlds summed up in one word - pain. We put 100% in every ride and effort we had so I'm really excited to see how we do next week!

"I'm feeling great, other than the jet lag of course," added Dygert who is out of the United States for just the second time in her life.

"I honestly had no clue I would be here," said Dygert on her participation at the World Championships. "Track was always something I wanted to do so I was glad I was asked to try it out. I'm so thankful for the opportunities coming out of it."

With defending champions Australia and Great Britain the only nations to have claimed the title Dygert knows the challenges ahead but is heading in chasing gold. "The goal is and always will be to win!"

It has been a quick process learning and developing on the track but Dygert has grabbed the opportunity with both hands and is pleased with the progress she is making. "My skill has definitely improved and it will continue to.

"Sarah is great, it is really nice having her to look up too and learn from," Dygert said of training with seven-time world champion Sarah Hammer. "She was there for my first day on the track. She has taught me a lot, on and off the bike.

"She's an awesome teammate and great friend!"

The Rio Olympic Games continue to approach quickly and while the topic is on everyone's mind Dygert is not getting ahead of herself.

"One race, one effort, one ride at a time. I'm just making sure I give 110% in everything I do so whatever happens I'll know that I gave it my very best."
 © 2016