Reigning world pursuit champion Chloe Dygert Owen will not participate in the upcoming USA Cycling Pro Road Championships, her Twenty20 Pro Cycling team said Thursday. Dygert Owen, 21 is still recovering from a head injury sustained in a crash at last month’s Amgen Tour of California.
“It’s been a tough few weeks since my accident at Amgen Tour of California where I suffered a concussion,” Dygert Owen said in a team release. “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 was a favorite to win the individual time trial during the four-day championship weekend, held June 21-24 in Knoxville, Tennessee. She already owns multiple world titles in races against the clock on both the road and velodrome; in 2015 Dygert Owen swept the junior women’s road events at the UCI World Championships in Richmond, Virginia.
She has yet to win a national championship road title at the elite level. Dygert Owen looked to be on course for such an accolade with a series of impressive victories earlier this year. In April she won a stage of the Joe Martin Stage Race; the next month she won two stages — including the individual time trial — at New Mexico’s Tour of the Gila.
Dygert Owen was a favorite to win a stage at the Amgen Tour of California, however, a nasty crash on the opening stage sent her out of the race with a head injury. As the peloton sped toward the finish line in Elk Grove Dygert Owen worked to set up teammate Jennifer Valente before fading back into the bunch. As Dygert Owen faded back, a sudden slowing of the pack sent her tumbling to the tarmac, and she slammed her head into the pavement.
The crash sent Dygert Owen off the bike for several days; the pileup was on May 18. According to Dygert Owen’s Instagram, she returned to riding outside in early June.
In an Instagram post after the crash, Dygert Owen said she was planning to return for the U.S. Nationals race. That return has been pushed back to the UCI Chrono Kristin Armstrong race, which will be held July 13 in Boise, Idaho.
Dygert Owen said she has future goals in road racing for 2018.
“I will continue to focus on the world championships in hopes that I am selected to be part of Team USA,” Dygert Owen said.