Chloé Dygert is back, says US rail coach

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (VN) – Chloé Dygert is back – just ask for Trainer Gary Sutton’s stopwatch.

USA Cycling’s endurance program director Sutton recently told VeloNews that Dygert is on schedule to top form at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, just eight months after a horror crash at the 2020 UCI Road World Championships with Dygert had left his career. impending injuries.

“She’s a little busy, but Chloé is back,” Sutton told VeloNews. “It was a slow process and I wasn’t sure what was going to happen and now it’s a real experience to see her out on the track. My stopwatch tells me everything I need to know and it’s in a very good position. “

Now Dygert plans to compete in the U.S. Professional Time Trial Championships next week in Knoxville, Tennessee, to test her racing fitness as she completes her training for Tokyo. Dygert is on the list of registered athletes for the individual time trial, but not for the criterion or the road race.

VeloNews recently attended part of a training session with the U.S. Women’s Track Endurance Program and saw Dygert through multiple intervals at the 7-Eleven Velodrome in Colorado Springs. Dygert was not available for comment between their interval sets. After every single effort, Dygert gasped and had to be helped from the bike. A jagged scar now extends across Dygert’s left thigh, just above the knee.

Sutton, who took over the program in 2017, said Dygert’s exhaustion after each exertion was another sign that she was returning to her old physical self. Dygert has built a reputation for pushing yourself to extreme levels while exercising.

“She can do that in the lab – she falls off the trainer or spits into a bucket,” said Sutton. “That’s old Chloé.”

Sutton’s comments and Dygert’s training success are signs that she has recovered from the horrific crash in Imola, Italy. Dygert went down as the defending champion, and after boiling over a corner, she hit a guardrail before coming to a stop in a field beside the road. The metal guardrail impact slashed Dygert’s right thigh, and immediately afterward, photos of her revealed a gash over her knee. She couldn’t finish the race and was instead flown to a hospital in Bologna, where she underwent surgery to repair incised and damaged ligaments.

In the days following the accident, USA Cycling officials said she was expected to make a full recovery. How long this recovery would take was not known. In post-crash interviews, Dygert stated her intention to recover in time for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.

Sutton said USA Cycling’s coaches and medical staff had been cautious about Dygert’s comeback strategy over the past few months. While Dygert has switched back to two-day training sessions in the past few days, her previous training has been determined by her recovery.

“She was smart and there were sessions where we would pull out,” said Sutton. “We’re still worried. We rely on her honest feedback after every effort, and she is smart and gives it to us. We try to be careful so that she doesn’t hurt herself or go the other way. “

Dygert is heading to the 2021 Olympics with a slew of events and was officially named to the U.S. squad on Thursday, which will compete in Tokyo. She plans to compete in the women’s road races, the individual time trial and the Team Pursuit event on the track where she is the anchor driver. The full list will likely test Dygert’s endurance and focus, as well as her body’s health.

Sutton said Dygert still has room for improvement in the final spurt for the Olympics. She still has about six weeks until the women’s street race. Sutton said he was confident Dygert would be ready for the races.

“Right now it’s about making her stronger – we’re not where we need to be with her, but she’ll be where she needs to be in 50 days,” said Sutton. “Your attitude is fantastic. Nobody trains harder than she, I can tell you now. It’s something special and not a show. “

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