“I go into every race thinking I’m going to win” – in conversation with Chloe Dygert

We sat down with time trial world champion Chloe Dygert to talk about THAT win in Yorkshire, how she is coping in lockdown, how she implements her winning mentality, and much more.

Voxwomen: Talk me through your memories of that day in Yorkshire, the time trial world championships.

Chloe Dygert: I go into every race thinking I’m going to win. I don’t want that to sound cocky, but I don’t show up to a race to just podium. I don’t work the way I work to just show up to get third place. What’s the point of even going? Two years prior I did the Norway world championships on six weeks of training. I thought I was going to win, I really did. And I got fourth place. But I was not fit. I was not healthy. I had the hip injury. Having that in the back of my head, knowing that I’m fit now—I’ve never raced these girls when I’ve been fit—I went into it thinking that I could win. I had this confidence. But the race was postponed, 30 minutes or something. Again, it’s a setback; I didn’t think anything of it. Everyone has to do it. The rain, everybody’s going to be in it; it’s not just me. I’m not worried about it. I wasn’t stressed. I was nervous. But I knew the course like the back of my hand. I’d ridden it only a few times, but I knew it. I knew how many times I needed to cross the center line. I know every bit. I still do.

I remember every kilometre thinking Annemiek (van Vleuten) and (Anna) Van der Breggen were going one to two seconds faster than me. I need to push a little bit more. I felt like I was constantly on my edge. I knew I needed to make up time on the first section, because climbing is not my thing. The second half I knew was going to be tough.

I didn’t know how much I was up. Annemiek and Van der Breggen didn’t come through the time split until I was about 7km out. At this point Ina (Teutenberg, in the follow car) was yelling and the radio’s kind of muffled, and she has her accent. The first time she told me a time check I thought she said I was down. So I’m like, ‘full gas, keep going!’ I remember getting to 3km to go and she was like, ‘you’re up! Chill! Don’t take any risks!”

Looking back at it, I’ve had so many people tell me, ‘you would have been eleventh in the men’s.’ How I work is, ‘well, why couldn’t I have been top ten? Yes, I won the race and that’s great, but what’s next now? Why couldn’t I have been better? What could have I done to have been better?’

Voxwomen: I think that’s the DNA of a champion. That’s your makeup, isn’t it? To constantly think: This is great; history made; what’s next?

Head to Peloton Magazine for the full interview.

Watch the full video interview here.

And listen to the Voxwomen Cycling Podcast here.

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