Women's news shorts: Dygert crushes junior women's TT at Worlds

Becker unable to start TTT with Hitec after UCI disallows her bike, Borghini and Bronzini renew with Wiggle, Visit Dallas DNA in 2016

Dygert crushes junior women's TT at Worlds

For a new world champion, American Chloe Dygert seemed unnaturally calm, her celebration perhaps stunted by her morning-long stint in the hot seat at women's junior time trial at the UCI Road World Championships in Richmond. Surely, inside she was jubilant, as she decimated the international field to win the gold medal by more than a minute over compatriot Emma White.

Although Dygert is a double junior national champion this year, it was her first World Championships - she had surgery on her knee and did not race last year - and was sick with bronchitis in the week leading up to the race, so she had no idea how she would fare.

"It was a miserable ride, but I did it," she said to Cyclingnews. "I couldn't have done it without all the support from my friends and family. It was more of a mental thing of being sick and not being able to do well. The support got me to where I was today."

Dygert, from Brownsburg, Indiana, shot like a rocket up through the junior ranks, starting out on the mountain bike and then taking a bronze in the 15-16 road race and the gold medal in the criterium in her first national road championships. She took to cyclo-cross, where she parlayed her talents as a cross-country and track runner into a number of victories until her knee injury.

During her high school years, Dygert tried to balance bike racing with basketball and running, but ran into a number of injuries, including her ACL tear. She plans to keep cycling now that she's graduated and started at Marian University. "I get hurt a lot so I had to quit and start cycling. Fingers crossed, I haven't or will be hurt."

The USA Cycling junior team has the benefit of having Ina Teutenberg as their coach, and Dygert credited her and her personal coach Joe Holmes with helping her achieve a rainbow-jersey result.

"Having Ina back in the car was a big help. She told me when to stay in the aero bars in a turn, what's coming up next, watch out for that pothole, we memorized the course. It was really nice to have her back there, she's a huge inspiration and she knows everything there is to know about cycling."

Considering the level of domination with which Dygert won her gold medal, it would be easy to compare her with Olympic champion Kristin Armstrong and hope that she might develop into an elite champion one day. Teutenberg said it's difficult to say what would happen.

"Kristin is a high measurement. We're talking about a two-time Olympic gold medallist and world champion. It would be nice if you could be a Kristin Armstrong, but you're still pretty good if you aren't and you win medals. The talent is there, it's just a matter of if she stays in there and how she develops." (LW)

Chloe Dygert (United States of America) in the rainbow jersey
 

Becker unable to start TTT with Hitec after UCI disallows her bike

German Charlotte Becker should have been rolling down the start ramp with her Hitec teammates on Sunday, but instead left the start of the UCI World Championshipteam time trial in Richmond in tears, unable to race after UCI commissaires disqualified her bike for being outside the regulations.

"It was a big disappointment for us, having sent a team to USA, and we are probably by far the team with the smallest resources," Hitec team manager Karl Lima said to Cyclingnews.

"Lotte's Scott Plasma bike passed the pre-check, as it has done on the six UCI time trials we used it in this year. Then four minutes before the start a different commissaire decided that Becker's handlebars were one millimetre too long. These cannot easily be adjusted in a hurry.

"Her seat was outside the limits already. Either the seat or the handlebar can be outside limits, but not both, and the commissaire decided our world champion from 2012 could not start."

The team struggled to recover from the blow of unexpectedly losing Becker, coming in 10th out of 13 teams.

"[It was] not the best start for us to be with 5, and Lotte is truly our 'locomotive' in the TTT," Lima said, still reeling over the decision of the commissaire.

"The UCI measurements are normally in centimetres, not millimetres. So for a commissaire to deny a start due to one millimetre can only be seen as harsh. How was this ruler calibrated, I wonder? I can not see this man denying Taylor Phinney a start over 1 mm."

A source familiar with the UCI measurements said a 1mm discrepancy would not disallow a rider from starting. The UCI claims that Becker's bike was two centimetres off from the legal length, and the mechanic was informed of this in the pre-check.

Hitec Products lost Charlotte Becker at the start

Italians Borghini and Bronzini renew with Wiggle-Honda for 2016; Bronzini to retire after Worlds in Qatar

World Cup winners Elisa Longo Borghini and Giorgia Bronzini have renewed their contracts with Wiggle-Honda for the 2016 season, according to a press release from the team on Monday. The team also announced that next year will be Bronzini's last as she makes an attempt to win a third road race world title in Qatar before retiring.

“It’s the last season of my career, and this team feels like a home for me,” Bronzini said. “I know it will be really tricky because it is an Olympic year, and everyone is going to be fighting to be in the Olympics. Maybe there will be some points that the girls will be with their national teams, but I’m really sure that I want to take the opportunity to stay with this team.

“The team is so close to my heart. I want to stay together, and work together like we have always done. I hope that the power will stay with this team, because when we decide to go for something we work together for it. That is the main strength of the team.”

This year, Bronzini won the World Cup round on Chongming Island while her teammate and compatriot Longo Borghini won the round at the Tour of Flanders. Longo Borghini will remain with Wiggle-Honda for at least two more seasons. “The team is really strong and I believe we can achieve even better results than this year,” Longo Borghini said. “For me it would be really nice to win another World Cup - although they won’t be the World Cup next year, they will be WorldTour races!

“I have really good teammates and I really hope to work well with them again as I did this year.”

Giorgia Bronzini (Wiggle-Honda) wins final stage at La Route de France

Top women's teams merge to form Visit Dallas DNA in 2016

Two top US domestic elite women's teams, Visit Dallas Cycling p/b Noise4Good and DNA Cycling p/b K4, will merge to form Visit Dallas DNA Pro Cycling in 2016. In addition, the newly formed team will seek a UCI licence for next year so that it can compete in the top women's events in North America.

K4 Racing, which manages DNA Cycling, and FCS (Foundation for the Cultivation of Sport), which runs the Visit Dallas Cycling Team, will join forces in the project. “K4 Racing and FCS share similar values and, more often than not, steps on the podium,” said Alex Kim, general manager of K4 Racing. “Our riders are talented, personable and dynamic and we’re excited to showcase their talent on a bigger stage.”

Lee Whaley, Co-Chairman of FCS, added, “Our two organizations, each fielding independent women’s teams, have grown in a similar fashion – we look forward with excitement to this merger as we continue contribute to and participate in the growth of women’s professional bike racing."

Orbea will provide technical support and equipment for the new team.

Amber Neben, a well-known US stage racer and time triallist, has been a part of the Visit Dallas Cycling p/b Noise, winning the San Dimas Stage Race this year. While Tiffany Pezzulo raced with DNA Cycling and won the overall at the USA Crits Championship Series.

Amber Neben (Visit Dallas) led most of the way up the long Lookout Mountain climb.

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