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Rivera moves to the fast lane in American sprinting

Coryn Rivera (PROMAN Hit Squad) surprised everyone with her junior gears charge to the line.

Coryn Rivera (PROMAN Hit Squad) surprised everyone with her junior gears charge to the line. (Image credit: Jon Devich)

Sixteen year-old Coryn Rivera (ProMan Hit Squad) captured the biggest win in her young cycling career when she out sprinted five-time US national criterium champion Tina Pic (Colavita-Sutter Home) and Australian Kristy Broun (Lip Smackers) in stage five, a downtown criterium, of the Cascade Cycling Classic.

"It's such a long straightaway, so I just stayed patient." said Rivera who recently won the Manhattan Beach Grand Prix and the San Rafael Criterium. "I actually don't think the other sprinters were expecting me to be a player in the final. I guess that surprised them!"

As a junior rider, Rivera is forced to use a smaller gearing ratio or what is termed 'junior gears' which are a 52 front chain ring and a 14 cog on the rear cassette, whereas the standard rear gearing for elite riders is as low as a 12 or even an 11 cog.

Rivera, followed by Pic, found her way onto Broun's wheel with 300 metres to go. She waited until the last possible moment to jump around for the win. "I ride with junior gears, and I have a fast acceleration, but I can't hold it long," Rivera said. "That means I really have to time it right every time I sprint."

Rivera practiced her victory salutes in training prior to the Cascade Cycling Classic in hopes of winning a stage. Last night she chose a folded-arm salute but according to the young speedster, there are more to come. "I've done it [victory salutes] twice before, and my director and I have some more up our sleeves," she laughed. "That was only one of them!"

Rivera, from California, is a 23-time US junior national champion in a multitude of disciplines; road, time trial, track and cyclo-cross. She began racing when she was six years old, encouraged by her father, Wally, and mother, Lina, who started her riding tandem with them, together, until she was big enough to rider her own bike. She is now known for her tactical prowess amongst the peloton and her great passion for cycling.

"Cycling, to me, isn't a sport, it isn't a hobby, it isn't an interest. Cycling, to me, is a passion," Coryn expresses her love for cycling through her writing and in quotes on her blog. "And where passion comes from, there is no pain, there is no suffering, but only the love of pain and suffering. And a passion is something you never quit, you never forget, and something you will always love. A passion is forever, cycling is forever."

Rivera has been selected by the US national team to compete in the junior world championships time trial and road race on August 7-9 in Moscow, Russia.
 

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Kirsten Frattini is an honours graduate of Kinesiology and Health Science from York University in Toronto, Canada. She has been involved in cycling from the community and grassroots level to professional cycling's WorldTour. She has worked in both print and digital publishing, and started with Cyclingnews as a North American Correspondent in 2006. Moving into a Production Editor's role in 2014, she produces and publishes international race coverage for all men's and women's races including Spring Classics, Grand Tours, World Championships and Olympic Games, and writes and edits news and features. As the Women's Editor at Cyclingnews, Kirsten also coordinates and oversees the global coverage of races, news, features and podcasts about women's professional cycling.