Dygert-Owen withdraws from US championships to recover from concussion

'It's been a tough few weeks since my accident' said Twenty20 rider

Chloé Dygert-Owen (Twenty20 p/b Sho-Air) has withdrawn from the upcoming USA Cycling Professional Road Championships because she is still recovering from injuries, including a concussion, sustained in a crash at the Amgen Women's Race in May.

Dygert-Owen, a two-time current world champion in the Team Pursuit and Individual Pursuit, placed fourth in the time trial at the UCI Road World Championships in 2017. She was a favourite for the time trial event at the national championships held on June 21 in Knoxville, Tennessee, where the elite women will race two laps of the Oak Ridge circuit, totalling 22.8km.

"It's been a tough few weeks since my accident at Amgen Tour of California where I suffered a concussion. The good news is I am back outside on my bike after three trying weeks of testing my patience and allowing my body to heal," Dygert-Owen said.

"The bad news, however is I won't be able to compete at US Nationals in two-week's time. Although I will miss being at Nationals it is great being back on the bike and I look forward to competing at the UCI Chrono Kristin Armstrong in mid-July in Boise, Idaho.

"From there I will continue to focus on the World Championships in hopes that I am selected to be part of Team USA. I look forward to seeing everyone on the road."

She had a strong early season racing on the road with Twenty20 p/b Sho-Air, earning two stage wins at the Tour of the Gila, in the stage 2 road race to Fort Bayard and the stage 3 time trial in Tyrone. She was also second in a stage at the Joe Martin Stage Race and finished sixth overall.

Dygert-Owen last competed at the Amgen Women's Race but crashed in the closing kilometre of stage 1, as teams were leading out their sprinters for a bunch kick in Elk Grove on May 17. She confirmed that she hit her head and sustained a concussion in that crash and hoped to be recovered in time to compete in Knoxville.

"Of course Chloé's non attendance at Nationals is a blow to the team and our partners as I had every confidence barring a mishap that she could win the time trial but it is without hesitation to know that the athletes health comes first," said the team's general manager Nicola Cranmer.

"With our strict team concussion protocol implemented, we wanted to wait for all of Chloé's symptoms to subside before allowing her to ride outside. She still has to take it easy on the bike as the symptoms can reoccur. It's a day-by-day process at the moment but we are feeling very optimistic about her progress, she really turned a corner this week.

"Chloé is a tenacious athlete and is only 21 years old and has many National Championships in front of her. Long term goals are what we are focused on now and she is looking to improve on her 4th place in the 2018 World Time trial Championships."

Twenty20 p/b Sho-Air will field a young team led by experienced rider Allie Dragoo, who recently placed sixth at the UCI 1.1 Chrono Gatineau. The team will race in all elite women's events held from June 21-24, featuring a road race, individual time trial and criterium. The team also includes Shayna Powless, Dani Morshead, Erica Clevenger and Margot Clyne.

"I am looking forward to my fifth elite nationals with Twenty20. We have a team of young riders who are eager to race their bikes and have fun doing so," Dragoo said.

"Our development this year has been very impressive to me- to watch girls who were new last year step up to the plate and for the girls who are new this year that have been asking questions and executing after having clarity on race and team tactics has really made leading fun for me.

"I appreciate the hard work and effort the girls work and strive for and I'm very excited to work hard at nationals with my team."

Dygert-Owen will next compete at the inaugural Chrono Kristin Armstrong is the only UCI sanctioned time trial in the US and will take place in Idaho on July 13.

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