Wednesday, October 27, 2021
HomeInterviewsChloé Dygert Owen - Winning Rainbow Jerseys for Five Years

Chloé Dygert Owen – Winning Rainbow Jerseys for Five Years

Multi World champion at 23 years-old, there are not many people who can make that claim, but Chloé Dygert Owen from Brownsburg, Indiana in the USA can. From junior World Road Race champion in 2015 to elite World Individual Pursuit champion in 2020, with quite few in-between.


How long a career do you need to have to win 10 [yes ten] World titles? US ‘chrono girl,’ Chloé Dygert Owen has won that many and she’s still only 23 years-old; and there are two Pan Am golds and an Olympic silver in the dresser drawer too.

High times we ‘had a word’ with the young lady out of Indiana.

Chloé Dygert Owen
Chloé Dygert Owen, Champion of the World. Many times.

How did you get into cycling, Chloé?

“I got into cycling in about 2015.

“Cycling was always something we did in my family growing up but I didn’t start racing and really starting my career until 2015 because I was another sport athlete in school.”

You exploded on to the scene – 2015 US and World Junior Road Race and Time Trial champion – who was your mentor?

“At that time my motivation was to be the best and to win.

“But, I was on team Twenty16 on the development junior squad and I did know about Kristin Armstrong at the time; I remember at junior nationals she gave me a signed rider card telling me ‘good luck’.

“I thought that was very special and since then we’ve been friends, teammates and now she’s my coach.

“Same with Sarah Hammer – she was there for my first day on the track and I was there for her last.

“I would have to say, them both have made pretty big impacts on how my career has been guided.”

Chloé Dygert Owen
Chloé Dygert Owen with Sarah Hammer. Photo©Twitter

The 2016 Worlds Team Pursuit champion – you took to the discipline very quickly.

“I love being thrown in the deep end.

“If I’m learning something I hate starting out as a beginner, just let me do it how everybody else’s do it and I’ll learn it faster.

“And that’s one thing that I really respected and liked about our coach at the time, Andy Sparks, he believed in me and treated me as if I was already a part of the team which made my entrance so much easier and that’s how I was able to learn so fast.

“That, along with the help of the team.”

Olympic silver in the 2016 team pursuit – bitter/sweet after your Worlds victory?

“It’s always hard to lose. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about it, but again it’s in the past we can only change what will happen in the future.

“And I know we are doing everything we can to make sure that doesn’t happen again.”

Chloé Dygert Owen
Chloé Dygert Owen recovers from hard TP trining efforts. Photo©Twitter

Season 2017 ‘the double’ track titles, individual and team pursuit – a lot of warming up and down, focusing and racing to contend with?

“I guess I’m just so used to doing the events that I’ve done that I don’t really think about the process, I just do what needs to be done so I can win.”

The following year, 2018 the same again, they say it’s always harder to defend than to win for the first time?

“Even if I win by seven seconds or even 0.7 seconds it’s not so much that I’m racing another person it’s that I’m racing myself. I was definitely more upset this time around as I wanted to break a faster time.

“It was probably more of me being upset about it rather than it being harder to get the win.

“Especially in the team pursuit we were closer to getting silver in 2017 than we were in 2018.

“And I didn’t even break the world record in 2017.”

Then 2019 and no Track Worlds?

“I was still dealing with my concussion and I had a knee surgery a month prior so I wasn’t able to attend.”

Chloé Dygert Owen
Chloé Dygert Owen at the end of the Worlds Road Ace in Harrogate. Photo©Ed Hood

Last fall, 2019 Harrogate – that was an impressive TT but how difficult is it for you to change from track to road and vice versa?

“Again I think this is something that I’ve done my entire career going back-and-forth so it really wasn’t much of a change for me.

“I have the best coach for the time trial and the best coach for the track so I know I’m in the best hands no matter what.”

Harrogate and the road race; that was one ‘hard day at the office’ for you

“The Road race was the hardest and longest race of my entire life.

“I remember taking a few hours in my room to just calm down and get back to normal.

“I was so empty in every way imaginable; I was hungry I was tired I was thirsty.

“I just didn’t do my nutrition right during the race and that really hurt me.”

Is a road rainbow jersey on the ‘wish list’?

“I would love to win any and every rainbow jersey I can possibly win.”

Chloé Dygert Owen chases the podium spot at the World Championships in 2019. Photo©Martin Williamson

This year, 2020 and another track Worlds ‘double’ – still as a much of a thrill?

“I don’t want this to sound cocky but winning it’s just an expectation now I would be more upset about losing then I would be about winning.”

Tell us about those ‘reversed’ Felts please – how do they compare to your previous steeds?

“Do you know when you can get on the bike and just tell it’s fast? That’s how I feel on this Felt.

“It’s been so long since I’ve ridden anything else I can’t really give you an accurate description of what the other bike feels like compared to this new super bike.”

Chloe Dygert Owen
Chloé Dygert Owen nailing it at the World Championships in 2019. Photo©Martin Williamson

I’ve read that your goal for the Individual Pursuit is sub 3:10?

“Yes, I saw the junior boy run sub 3:10 – and if he can do it I wanna do it!”

[The world junior pursuit record is held by New Zealand rider, Finn Fisher-Black who returned 3:09.710 in the NZ u19 championships on the Avantidrome, Cambridge, ed.]

Gary Sutton is the National Coach but do you have a coach with Twenty20?

“Yes, Gary is the Track Coach, and I work with Kristin Armstrong on the road.”

Chloé Dygert Owen
Chloé Dygert Owen gave it all at the Worlds Road Race. Photo©Ed Hood

Twenty20 is a US domestic team; but would you like to ride the European Classic races?

“I would love to get a chance to race over in Europe.

“I think in the next few years that will happen but as of now my goals are pretty specific and I am sticking to them.”

Tokyo, that must have been a disappointment, how are you dealing with the uncertainty on when/if the Games will actually take place?

“I am so used to sitting back because I get injured so much that this really hasn’t made too much of a stress impact on me.

“I’m just thankful that it’s not an injury and it’s just a postponement.

“And this also gives us more time to prepare and get things even more ready for the games next year.”

What’s top of the ‘to do’ list?

“I just want to be the best, I want to do anything and everything that will make me the best.”

Chloé Dygert Owen
Chloé Dygert Owen has a fair collection of rainbow jerseys already. Photo©Twitter

With thanks to Chloé and to Mike Engleman for connecting us with her.

Ed Hood
Ed's been involved in cycling for over 45 years. In that time he's been a successful time triallist, team manager, and sponsor of several teams and clubs. He's also a respected and successful coach, and during the winter months can often be found working in the cabins at the Six Days. Ed remains a massive fan of the sport and couples his extensive contacts with an inexhaustable enthusiasm for the minutiae and the history of our sport.

Related Articles

The VeloVeritas Years – 2019: The Elite Road World Championships

We didn't realise when we made our way to the Civic Hall in Leeds for the sign-on of the 2019 Elite World Road Championships just what an epic day we were in for; emergency purchasing of umbrellas in the local outdoor centre didn't quite cut it as the deluge lasted almost the entire race.

Brandon McNulty – Stepping up to World Tour with UAE-Team Emirates

Brandon McNulty launched himself into his WorldTour career with top performances in the Tour de San Juan and the Ruta del Sol, and then… Now the 2020 season is on hold. We caught up with Brandon back in the US.

Alice Lethbridge – Breaking Records from 15 Miles to 12 Hours!

The other day we were congratulating ourselves on the fact that we’d spoken to every CTT competition record holder from 10 miles to 12 hours, including Stuart Travis’s recent blitzing of the ‘30’ record. However, we were reminded that all of those were men’s records and we should pay attention to the ladies. Enter Ms. Alice Lethbridge, competition record holder at 15 miles, 100 miles and 12 hours – not to mention a member of the record breaking teams at 15, 25, 50 and 100 miles.

Marianne Berglund – “Winning the Worlds really launched me in the USA”

She only started cycling to connect with a cute guy… that never happened but she did go on to win a World Road Race Championship and more than 100 races. Swedish-born but now a resident of the USA, Ms. Marianne Berglund took time recently to speak to us.

World Road Championships 2006 – Day 6: Postscript

It's 3.45 pm CET. I've been doing the tourist thing today. Salzburg is beautiful no-doubt, but it's a tad de-caffeinated, a good place to come with your girl but lacking that real-life' edge of say a Gent or a Lisbon. It's hard to find a proper bar but this one seems OK, complete with busty barmaid. World Road Championships 2006.

Christina Mackenzie – Land’s End to John O’Groats Record Breaker!

Congratulations are in order as Christina Mackenzie became the fastest-ever woman to traverse the largest of the British Isles from it’s south western to north eastern tips. Christina, originally from the Isle of Lewis but now Stirling-based took time to speak to VeloVeritas a day or two after her epic ride.

At Random

A Good Result, then a Fail-athon (Post Eneco Tour)

The finale of the Eneco Tour was a time trial, and as hoped, our man Svein defended brilliantly, winding up fifth overall for the race. a Fail-athon. This was a great performance by the big fella, and the bare minimum of what I believe he deserves for his persistence, determination and talent.

Dan Patten Blog: The Storm is Over (I Hope)

So my latest update on the Dan Patten Blog tells about the run of bad luck which continued through July and into August, including a collision with a car and less than a week later getting taken down by a bidon during the third stage of the Ronde van de Provincie Antwerpen.

Le Tour de France 2009, Stage 4: Montpellier > Montpellier, 39km TTT

The team time trial here in Montpellier, it’s beautiful; speed, strength, skill, trust, unity, honour — everything that makes pro bike racing special.

Le Tour de France 2007 – Day 6: Stage 16, Orthez – Gourette, Col d’Aubisque

The alarm went at 06.00 this morning, we're driving the full stage today, all the way from Orthez to the top of the Col d'Aubisque, that's 218.5 kilometres with a 3rd, two 1st and two hors categorie climbs. It's 07.45, and we're trying to exit the autoroute at Orthez, but Tour traffic is clogging the toll plaza, in the midst of all this are Marge, Homer, Bart and Lisa Simpson, on their four-up bike. They are advertising their movie, on the Tour publicity caravan, I wonder where the wee one is? - transpires that Marge is carrying her, none of them have a helmet on, either.

Mario Willems – Most Successful Kermis Rider This Season

"Ed! All this Tour de France nonsense - you should be talking to Mario Willems, he's the top man in the Flanders kermis' right now!"

The First Tour Doon Hame

We're off to the first edition of the Tour Doon Hame. I grew up with 'The Girvan' - in fact, it took me a long time to stop myself from referring to it as the 'Grant's of Girvan.' Ronnie Boa won it way back when; Henk Lubberding won a stage, Sean Yates, Dave Lloyd, Tony Doyle, all famous names to associate with Girvan.