Brodie Chapman continues rise through road ranks at Colorado Classic

In just two years of professional road racing, Brodie Chapman (Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank) has compiled a palmarès that belies her relatively late entry into the women's peloton.

To date, the 28-year-old Australian has won the women's Herald Sun Tour and finished third overall there, won the Gravel and Tar La Femme, won a stage and the overall at the Tour of the Gila, finished sixth at the Women's WorldTour Amgen Tour of California, taken a stage at the Tour de Feminin-O cenu Českého Švýcarska and finished second – last week – to Chloe Dygert-Owen at the Colorado Classic.

Chapman raced mountain bikes and dabbled on the road in local criteriums and other races, but her road career didn't take off in earnest until she won the Herald Sun Tour in January 2018 with the Australian national team.

"The team scouted me out after I won the Herald Sun Tour in Australia, and my now teammate Shannon Malseed, who was the Australian national champion at the time, put in a good word for me," Chapman told Cyclingnews before the start of the final stage of the Colorado Classic.

"I'm super grateful because they took me up on a bit of a whim, I suppose," she said. "I didn't really have many results behind my name, but I'm super grateful for the opportunity."

Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank team owner and manager Linda Jackson said she knew immediately that she wanted Chapman on the team when she watched her perform in that race.

"I've always said it's just not just someone who wins races, but how they race," Jackson said of the riders she likes to recruit for her team. "Brodie had such a commanding performance at the Herald Sun Tour that year, and I watched it and said, 'We've got to get her.' I just went after her, and I'm glad I did. She's an amazing rider and an amazing person."

The decision to hire Chapman has paid off well for Jackson and the team. The Australian has picked up the leadership banner at Tibco and run with it, surpassing even her own expectations, at times.

Last week in Colorado, Chapman raced well but ran into a juggernaut in Dygert-Owen, who won the overall ahead of Chapman by 2:37 while claiming the jerseys for best young rider, the sprint classification and the mountains classification.

Chapman finished third behind Dygert-Owen on stage 1, and then second on the 'queen stage' in Avon, which included a climb up and over nearly 2,750 metres of elevation. Dygert-Owen seized her advantage on the ensuing descent. Although Chapman got the better of Dygert-Owen at the Tour of the Gila, beating the Sho-Air Twenty20 rider by 1:07, Chapman told Cyclingnews she didn't come into the Colorado Classic anticipating a similar result.

"Personally, I wasn't, but I've got an awesome team behind me in Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank," she said. "They've just worked selflessly all week, and I was really surprised that I was able to rally the legs and get these results. It's been such a fun race.

"Not this week, no," she said of being able to overcome Dygert-Owen. "But it's been a good battle, for sure."

Chapman will get several more chances to battle Dygert-Owen. Although the American rider hasn't yet been selected to the US team for the UCI Road World Championships in Yorkshire next month, Chapman is already on the Australian selection and is looking forward to a good race.

"I'm super pumped for the Worlds," she said. "I've reconned the course. The [national] team had us out there, which was really awesome. We've got a great rider in Amanda Spratt, so I'm absolutely looking forward to that, but I've got a few more races to do before that one."

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Growing up in Missoula, Montana, Pat competed in his first bike race in 1985 at Flathead Lake. He studied English and journalism at the University of Oregon and has covered North American cycling extensively since 2009, as well as racing and teams in Europe and South America. Pat currently lives in the US outside of Portland, Oregon, with his imaginary dog Rusty.