Carmen Small wins Pan Am TT championships

Small punches ticket to race for U.S. at Richmond worlds with TT win in Leon, Mexico on Thursday

LEON, Mexico — Carmen Small (Twenty16-Sho-Air) struck gold in the women’s time trial at the 2015 Pan American continental road championships in Mexico on Thursday, winning the 22km test by 15 seconds ahead of Canada’s Tara Whitten. Brazil’s Clemilda Fernandes finished third.

“It was a pretty important day because it’s part of worlds selection,” Small said afterward in a USA Cycling press statement. “I haven’t had the best of luck lately, and I was unsure of my fitness going in and how I would go today. Coming out on top is a pleasant surprise.”

The win earned her an invite to race with the U.S. team at the 2015 UCI world road championships in Richmond, Virginia this September. Small is no stranger to top-flight international competition, having won a bronze medal in the time trial at 2013 road worlds in Italy.

“Now I can come up with a plan [for Richmond],” she continued. “I was switching gears a bit there, riding track and now back to road. Now I have focal point and can focus on Richmond.”

Tayler Wiles (Velocio-SRAM) also represented the U.S. in Mexico on Thursday, but she suffered a flat tire and finished 11th.

Small will also race the Pan Am road race championship on Saturday along with Lauren Hall (Twenty16-Sho-Air) and Coryn Rivera (UnitedHealthcare).