PYSO, ep. 53: World TT champ Chloe Dygert, Twenty20 boss Nicola Cranmer on pursuing greatness

"If someone is okay with saying, I like to win, and I'm going to win, that's a good quality," Cranmer says. "A lot of athletes shy away from showing that confidence and Chloe never did."

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Some riders are superstitious, believing that they need everything just so in order to perform. They need just the right lucky clothing, or just the right type of coffee. World time trial champion Chloe Dygert is not such a rider. She doesn’t even drink coffee. She just thrives off viewing the best riders in the world as benchmarks, and then getting to work on surpassing them.

In this episode of Put Your Socks On, Dygert and her Team Twenty20 boss Nicola Cranmer discuss the pursuit of greatness. In Cranmer’s case, that means finding and nurturing talented riders in challenging times as well as good times. For Dygert, that means a relentless work ethic and a refusal to settle — even for her current status as one of the absolute best riders in the world.

“I’m definitely the kind of person that if you tell me, I can’t do something, I’m going to do it, and I’m going to do it better than you would ever think,” Dygert says. “I have role models, but I don’t look at them and say I want to be like them. I look at them and say, ‘you are a benchmark to what I want to be. I’m going to surpass you, I’m going to be better than you.’ I want to be the best at anything and everything I do, and I thrive off of pain. I thrive off of other people’s doubt, and I think that’s also a huge benefactor into who I am today.”

As the world of cycling contemplates a cautious return to racing, Cranmer floats the idea of racing time trials exclusively for a little while. What does the reigning world TT champ think of this? “I would not be opposed,” Dygert says.