Peloton Watch
  Cyclo-cross World Championships next target for dual junior road worlds silver medallist Emma White  
  December 7th 2015  
  After finishing fifth in the junior time trial at the World Championships in Ponferrada in 2014 Emma White had much bigger ambitions for 2015. The podium and a rainbow jersey were her goal.

White delivered on the roads of Richmond in September riding to second place in the time trial. Only US teammate Chloé Dygert able to cover the 15-kilometre course faster, with the duo making it a home nation 1-2.

Four days later in the road race White was again in the main action part of the main break and was joined in the move by Dygert who bridged across, before going solo. With a teammate up the road White switched modes to protecting the advantage of Dygert. Dygert would go on to win solo and with the bunch closing in White attacked from the three rider chase group to cross the line solo taking silver.

As most riders started their off season, White the US junior national Cyclo-cross champion was continuing hers. After competing in the US throughout October, White raced her first ever World Cup at Koksijde in November finishing 26th. Currently back home before returning to Belgium for the Namur and Zolder rounds at the end of the month.

Her next target is being selected in the US team for the Cyclo-cross World Championships in Heusden-Zolder, January 30-31. Before turning attention back to the road having signed a professional contract with Optum Pro Cycling for 2016.

PelotonWatch: Why did you take up cycling and how old were you?

Emma White: My parents always encouraged my siblings and I to ride our bikes as kids, but I don't think they had a clue how much we would fall in love with it. My older brother started when he was 10. I followed in his footsteps and raced my first race two years later, when I was 9!

PW: Tell us a little about yourself. Who is Emma White?

EW: One of the greatest things that define me I think is my family. My older brother, Curtis has been a huge role model for me. I also have 2 younger sisters and a younger brother. I really love having a big family, and it certainly keeps life interesting! I grew up in the small town of Duanesburg, New York, where I graduated high school last spring. I have deferred my first semester at Union College in Schenectady, NY until January. I'm a fan of cats, country music, science, and fall! :)

PW: Fifth in the time trial at the World Championships last year what were your ambitions heading in to Richmond this year?

EW: I was absolutely beside myself when I was fifth in Ponferrada 2014. After that, I realized a podium or even a rainbow jersey was within reach if I set my mind to it and trained with Richmond constantly on my mind in 2015. That is exactly what I did!

PW: Claimed silver in the time trial behind teammate Chloé Dygert. Happy with your performance and what did it feel like standing on the podium?

EW: Of course nobody goes into the World Championships saying "I really hope I get a silver medal today." But with USA on the top two steps of the podium after the time trial, I truly have never been more proud. It was a very special feeling and I know Chloe and I motivated each other to become better all year. She is incredibly strong, and it was really cool to be able to share that experience with her.

PW: After the time trial how were you feeling and what was the plan for the road race?

EW: I was on top of the world after the time trial, and I think the confidence we both felt went a long way in the road race. Our four women team consisting of Chloé Dygert, Skylar Schneider, Ashlyn Woods and myself, couldn't be more ready! We had a white-board system during the race so that our coaches could communicate with us based on what was going on in the race. The plan was to get a couple of us up the road, and we knew the climbs were the place to get away. Things really worked out in our favour.

PW: You were part of a break in the road race and Chloe bridged across before going solo. A good position for you to be in with Chloe off the front how did the rest of the race play out for you?

EW: Chloe attacked on 23rd St before getting one lap to go. It was a risky move, but we could afford it if it didn't work out because there were two of us. With her up the road, my job was to defend her. The other girls in the group had to scramble to try and get her back, but their efforts weren't enough. Meanwhile, I did not realize how quickly the group behind us was closing on us! I saw them on Libby Hill on the lap of the finish and gave it everything I had at that point... After I crossed the line, I had absolutely nothing left.

PW: You crossed the line on your own to finish second what did it mean to claim a second silver medal?

EW: I have not had many experiences to race for teammates, being on a junior men's team for two years. It is unbelievable how when you put on the same jersey has someone you have been competitive with for years, your whole mindset changes. I was ecstatic crossing the line for a silver medal, and I was so proud to call Chloe my teammate. I knew what it meant for me, and I knew it was an even bigger advancement for the USA and women's cycling in America.

PW: A rare opportunity to race a World Championships on home soil did that make the experience of winning two silver even more special?

EW: It sure did! It is amazing to see how far American cycling has come and I am thrilled to be a part of it.

PW: You had Ina-Yoko Teutenberg working with the team what was it like working with one of the greats and how much help was she to you and the team?

EW: I truly believe we would not have accomplished what we did without Ina. I met her for the first time that week, but she is the kind of person that even after knowing her for a few short days, it isn't difficult to put 100% trust in her. I learned so much from Ina, and it made all the difference.

PW: After Road Worlds you quickly started the Cyclo-cross season. How did you handle the quick turn around? Were you able to have much of a break?

EW: One of the biggest races in New England, Providence Cyclocross Festival, was the weekend after I returned from Worlds. It was absolutely a quick turn around, but the bottom line is, I do it because I love it. I am having so much fun and that made the transition easy! After a couple of race weekends, I took a break leading up to the PanAms in Cincy.

PW: Competed in your first Cyclo-cross World Cup at Koksijde and finished 26th scoring points in your first World Cup. Happy with how it went?

EW: The result aside, I am happy to have my first World Cup under my belt. European Cyclo-cross is a whole different ball game, and I have learned so much already!

PW: What is your programme like for the rest of the Cyclo-cross season? More World Cups and hoping to earn selection for World Championships?

EW: Definitely! With the new Women 17-22 category for the World Championships I am really hoping to be able to compete at the end of January. I am heading over to Belgium again later in December to race Namur and Zolder World Cups, as well as the Diegem SP, and Loenhout Bpost. Lots of exciting things coming up!

PW: You turn professional next season with Optum. How did the contract come about and what made you want to join the team?

EW: Optum has always been a "dream team" of mine. I've always looked up to the riders on both the men and women's teams as incredible racers and all-around role models. I reached out to Pat McCarty, the women's team director, at the end of the summer this past year. Things moved pretty quickly after that, and I signed the contract after Worlds.

PW: What are your goals on the road with Optum in 2016?

EW: I am really looking forward to racing with teammates and learning more about, and executing team tactics. The women on the roster for next year are all highly respected racers and I really see it being an incredible squad! As a first year professional, I am looking for as much race experience as possible.
 © 2016