Dygert Owen reigns supreme at Gila time trial; Chapman regains GC lead

TYRONE, N.M. – Chloé Dygert Owen (Sho-Air TWENTY20) rocketed into the finishing chute Friday in Tour of the Gila’s Stage 3 Tyrone Time Trial with a top time of 37:47, blowing the rest of the field’s times to smithereens and leapfrogging general classification standings from fifth to second.

She now sits behind Australian Brodie Chapman (Team TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank), the only rider who came within one minute of Dygert Owen’s time. Chapman’s efforts paid off; she reclaimed the top GC position with 14 seconds to spare on Dygert Owen.

“Today was a great day, I talked to my coach, had a game plan going into it, what kind of watts to hold, to really work on my position and everything and try and stay as aero as possible,” Dygert Owen said. “So, pretty close to the leader’s jersey for me tomorrow. It’s going to be nice having some of those bonus seconds in the sprints and having the finish for bonus seconds. So hopefully we can get the leader’s jersey back on our team tomorrow and then hold it strong for the final day.”

Full results

With a UCI women’s field stacked with talent spread across multiple teams, riders knew the time trial would be telling. And Dygert Owen, who had been collecting time bonuses on most of the intermediate sprints at Tour of the Gila, gaining a total of eight seconds so far, was ready to pounce.

The Olympic pursuit silver medalist and multi-time pursuit world champion recently won the Joe Martin Stage Race GC and landed in the Sprint, QOM and Best Young Rider jerseys. At Tour of the Gila, she quickly became the Sprint Leader and Best Young Rider.

Going into the time trial, she was sitting fifth on GC, down 1:02 from the leader — her teammate, Canadian Jasmin Duehring. She was 50 seconds behind Chapman.

Dygert Owen’s time set a blistering standard for the remainder of the field, nearly two minutes ahead of nearly the entire field when she sailed across the line in near perfect weather conditions. Team TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank, Femme Équipe p/b Swisse Wellness and Rally UHC Cycling were sitting on pins and needles waiting for their top GC contenders to post times.

But only Chapman came within striking distance — 36 seconds behind Dygert Owen — and took back the top spot from Dygert Owen’s teammate, Duehring, keeping Dygert Owen at bay by 14 seconds.

“It’s good, I feel really good,” Chapman said. “Like I was saying before, coming in second to Chloe Dygert is like a win to me. I know she’s really experienced and super strong, and she’s been to the Olympics —that’s so cool — so I was just trying to go as fast as I could out there without blowing up, and that’s what I did.”

Now it will be up to Team TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank to defend Chapman’s jersey while Dygert Owen and Duehring are breathing down their necks.

In Friday’s Downtown Silver City Criterium presented by The Town of Silver City, three sprint bonuses and a finish line bonus are up for grabs. If Dygert Owen wins all of those time bonuses, she would gain a total of 19 seconds, putting her in the leader’s jersey going into the final Gila Monster stage on Sunday.

“It’s the perfect position to be in and what we were really hoping for today,” Duehring said. “Sunday is one of the hardest races in the year, and it really comes down to how many cards you have to play and it’s not just myself and Chloe that are up there. We had five girls in the top 10 today and that shows not just the strength of our team, but we have a lot of cards to play on Sunday, and we’re going to definitely be fighting as a team for that win, so it doesn’t matter who it is that stands on the top of the podium at the end of Sunday as long as it’s our team.”

And Team TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank’s strategy?

“Win,” Chapman said. “Obviously retain red [leader’s jersey] which is winning, but I think have fun and ride within myself and it’s all I can do. America is like the home country of crits. It’s like the pièce de résistance of crits, so I would love to just race American crits. It would be fun. It’s going to be hard.”

Full results

General Classification

  1. Brodie Chapman (Team TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank)
  2. Chloé Dygert Owen (Sho-Air TWENTY20) – 14 seconds back
  3. Jasmin Duehring (Sho-Air TWENTY20) – 1:07 back

Sprint Leader

  1. Chloé Dygert Owen (Sho-Air TWENTY20)
  2. Heidi Franz (Rally UHC Cycling)
  3. Leigh Ann Ganzar (Hagens Berman | Supermint)

Queen of the Mountains

  1.  Brodie Chapman (Team TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank)
  2. Edwige Pitel (Femme Équipe p/b Swisse Wellness)
  3. Krista Doebel-Hickok (Rally UHC Cycling)

Best Young Rider

  1. Chloé Dygert Owen (Sho-Air TWENTY20)
  2. Heidi Franz (Rally UHC Cycling)
  3.  Alice Cobb (Team TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank)

Team Classification

  1.  Sho-Air TWENTY20
  2. Team TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank
  3. Rally UHC Cycling