Jastrab denied entry to Colorado Classic

Recently crowned junior track world champion Megan Jastrab (Rally UHC) will miss the upcoming Colorado Classic after the UCI denied her request for an exemption that would have allowed the 17-year-old to compete in the 2.1-ranked race.

Jastrab, who won the Omnium and Madison titles at the UCI Junior Track World Championships last week in Frankfurt, Germany, competed in Colorado in 2017 with the Amy D. Foundation composite team and again last year with trade team Rally UHC.

The race's jump to UCI status this year, however, means junior riders are not eligible.

"I was very disappointed to hear that I couldn't race the Colorado Classic," said Jastrab, who is in transit home to California from Germany.

"I have competed in the last two editions, and it's been a great way to close out the season. This year it was going to be the perfect prep for road Worlds."

Jastrab is not only one of the top up-and-coming riders in the US, her exploits recently on the track and in international competition with the USA Cycling development program have lifted her into the elite ranks among her world-wide peers.

Colorado would have provided the 17-year-old sprinter with the chance to test herself against international competition while benefiting from the support of her experienced trade team.

"I was looking forward to racing with Rally UHC Cycling, as I am very limited on races with them already due to the UCI restrictions," she said.

"I was denied to race it this year because it is now a UCI race, and I need to be 18 years of age to compete in those races. [Rally UHC director] Zach Bell tried to get an exception, but the UCI declined the request."

Jastrab is quickly building an impressive palmares before even graduating from the junior ranks. In June, she added her 21st and 22nd US national titles in the junior road race and criterium, coming on the heels of previous international wins at Trofeo da Moreno-Mini-Trofeo Alfredo Binda, U17 Gent-Wevelgem and first place at the junior Healthy Ageing Women's Tour in Great Britain.

So far this year with Rally, Jastrab won a stage at the Valley of the Sun Tour and the Redlands Bicycle Classic, was third at the Winston-Salem Criterium and won the Harlem Skyscraper Classic criterium.

Now without Colorado to keep her busy, Jastrab will turn her attention to the UCI Road World Championships coming up in Yorkshire, where she hopes to repeat her rainbow jersey rides from the track.

"Junior road Worlds is next," said the riders who doesn't turn 18 until January. "It's the last goal of the year, and all my focus is on it. I will be attending college in a couple of days, starting on August 24. Worlds start September 23, so I will need to make sure I find balance over the course of the next month with school and training."

Although the competition in Colorado at altitude would have been ideal training for Worlds, Jastrab says she'll put in the work at home on her own, a formula that has brought her plenty of success in the past.

"I'm motivated to get in a couple weeks of solid training before leaving for Yorkshire," she said. "I want to put my best foot forward, so I am excited to rip this next training block."

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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.