Jastrab wins junior world track title in Omnium

Megan Jastrab added a world championship on the track to her collection of 21 national titles across road, track, and cyclocross.

Megan Jastrab can add rainbow stripes to her growing collection of stars-and-stripes jerseys.

On Friday Jastrab won the UCI world junior title in the Omnium track event at the junior world track championships in Frankfurt, Germany. Jastrab, who rides on the road for the Rally-UHC professional team, is the first American to claim the junior world title in that event.

“It feels unreal to win,” Jastrab said. “I am so so happy it came together and ended this way.”

Just 17 years old, Jastrab is one of the rising stars of U.S. cycling. Earlier this summer Jastrab won her 20th and 21st junior national titles at the U.S. road championships.

The Omnium encompasses four events: the scratch race, tempo race, elimination race, and points race. Jastrab finished on the podium in each of the first three events despite crashing during the tempo race.

Jastrab entered the final race, the points race, with a slim four point advantage over Great Britain’s Ella Barnwell and an eight point lead over Eleonora Gasparrini of Italy.

Jastrab said she marked her two rivals, allowing other riders in the race to take the points.

“Going into the points race of an Omnium, everything can change,” said Jastrab. “It was a unique feeling thinking about winning a world title but first I had to concentrate concentrate on Ella and Eleonora.”

By the final lap, Jastrab knew she just had to follow wheels in order to win.

“I knew I had won when the bell rang for the final sprint,” she said.

Jastrab’s world title puts her on the short list for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. While USA Cycling has not announced which events she will target, Jastrab’s skill in endurance races could become an integral component of the U.S. women’s pursuit team, which in 2016 captured the silver medal.

“Tokyo is a huge goal,” said Jastrab. “I’m extremely motivated and will try my best.”