When Chloé Dygert has a plan, she’s sticking to it.
Today, the 23-year old from Brownsburg, Indiana announced that she will be racing with Women’s WorldTeam Canyon-SRAM beginning in January 2021 through the end of 2024.
“This [to race in Europe] was the goal from four years ago,” Dygert told VeloNews. “It was something that was always in discussion. I just had goals to accomplish before this was something I could consider. Obviously, I’m grateful and honored, so in that regard, it’s great. But for the most part, this was the goal from the beginning. I’m excited to move forward.”
The German-based squad is one of the eight Women’s WorldTeams that receive automatic invites to all Women’s WorldTour races as well as committing to a more stringent set of rider protections, like minimum salary and medical leave.
Dygert said that, while she had other European-based teams under consideration for this career move, Canyon-SRAM’s willingness to embrace her unique goals and approach to being a professional athlete made her decision to sign with the squad easy.
“Just this year specifically, Canyon-SRAM has given me the opportunity and shown me the possibility to be able to keep my goals still in check,” she said. “Even the little things — being able to keep the ‘pink,’ the Red Bull helmet, my short shorts, my short sleeves. They have the leniency to keep me the person I am and the athlete that I am.”
Dygert’s most immediate goals are to win gold at the Tokyo Olympics next year, both in the team pursuit on the track and the time trial on the road. She is the current two-time world champion on the track, and credits Canyon-SRAM will supporting her in her dual-discipline goals.
However, she’s also looking forward to her first season racing in Europe. Dygert says she’s not yet married to any particular role on the team.
“I will do whatever they tell me to do,” she said. “That’s what I’m looking forward to. Obviously, I would love to win some races. I do want to win as much as I can, but if I’m going into a race and it’s for Kasia [Niewiadoma] I’m not going to be a selfish rider. I’m going into this team to be a teammate and make this team be the best team it can be. I’m not selfish in wanting to win everything. Winning as a team is just as important as me wanting to win individually.”
In September, Dygert suffered a devastating crash at the Imola road world championships. Seemingly on track to defend her title in the ITT, Dygert lost control of her bike and crashed into a guardrail. Dygert suffered extensive injuries to her left quadriceps and underwent surgery in Italy before returning home to Indiana.
She has recently begun intensive rehabilitation and remains committed to her goal of gold in 2021.
When she is able, Dygert will resume training from her home base of Boise, Idaho under the tutelage of three-time Olympian Kristin Armstrong. Dygert has worked with Armstrong since 2016, when she joined the Twenty20 (then Twenty16) Pro Continental team. Dygert credits Twenty20 and manager Nicola Cranmer with believing in her from the beginning.
“I owe my career to that team,” she said. “I really do. What team would stick by an athlete who has nothing behind them and has these big crazy goals and stays with them injury after injury? They always had belief in me and knew I was capable. I admire and respect them so much for that. My career would not be where it is today without them. I’m forever grateful.”
Canyon-SRAM’s manager Ronny Lauke says that bringing Dygert onto the team presents dual opportunities: for her continued development as a rider, as well as a chance for her to breathe new and different life into the team.
“Chloé is an outstanding force of nature in time trials and with her overall strength she is a very diverse rider,” he said. “She will open up new tactical opportunities for our team during road races. I am also confident with her personality, that she will add willpower and tenacity into our talented group of riders.”