FOLSOM, California (VN) — Allie Dragoo is in the midst of her third professional road race season, and she can assess her improvement as well anyone — and with a sense humor.
“I would kick my own butt times a thousand,” Dragoo said prior to the stage 2 women’s team time trial won by her Twenty16 – RideBiker squad at the Tour of California. “I was just talking to someone about it. Man, when I think about my first year to this year, I would smoke myself hardcore, for sure.”
After her long BMX career, including two seasons as a pro, as well as track, cyclocross, and mountain biking competition, Dragoo’s pro road race trade team career has all been with with Twenty16 and its varied co-sponsors. This has been her finest season.
In addition to stage wins and overall titles in regional pro event events, Dragoo won a long road stage at the Energiewacht Tour in Holland in April. She emerged in a five-rider break after 40 kilometers and claimed the 131km trek. But Dragoo has also suffered this season, crashing in races in Europe and at the Tour of the Gila in April.
“I went to Europe and had a very humbling experience,” said Dragoo. “I won a race in Holland, but I crashed a few times.
Although Dragoo, 27, has been riding a bicycle since she was a small girl, and in five disciplines, her improvement has been the result of simple but difficult skills to perfect.
“I’m just listening and paying attention,” said Dragoo. “I’m listening to my coach [Dean Golich] and to other riders. I take the advice and choose wisely. I’ve just learned to be patient.
“It’s easy to get very, very, very excited and nervous and to overthink. You just have to remember you are a human being and these are all other human beings around you. We all have instinct. It’s just how patient and smart you play it.”
Dragoo also rides for the USA Cycling national team and welcomes the opportunity to expand her career with additional international racing.
“Sometimes I miss out on Twenty16 team races to go with the national team, but I just work it out with my team director,” said Dragoo. “The goal is to get better and to get better you have to go to Europe. We are an Olympic development team so they want the best for all of us, so we worked it out.”
Following the Tour of California, Dragoo will compete in the U.S. national championships, a few East Coast one-day races and the UCI World Championships in Qatar.
“Every year goes by so much faster,” said Dragoo. “There are more races. You need your rest and I like to rest. And there are more races. But it’s all good.”