Defending champion Chloe Dygert out of surgery after world time trial horror crash and expected to make full recovery

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Chloe Dygert receives immediate treatment after her horror crash - AFPChloe Dygert receives immediate treatment after her horror crash - AFP
Chloe Dygert receives immediate treatment after her horror crash – AFP

Questions are being asked of cycling’s world governing body the UCI after American Chloe Dygert suffered an horrific crash in the women’s time trial on the opening day of the world road race championships in Italy on Thursday.

The defending champion, who was ahead of the required pace at the time of her crash, lost control at a right-hand corner, wobbled and flipped over a metal guard rail, tumbling down an embankment and sustaining a deep laceration to her left leg in the process.

The padding which covered the guardrail did not extend beyond the apex of the corner.

Tour of Britain director Mick Bennett tweeted: “It drives me completely mental who the hell agrees this sort/level of safety implementation/provision. Please give me the job UCI, and sack whoever he or she is.”

Dygert was immediately treated by event medics at the site of the crash. She was transported to a hospital in Bologna, Italy, where she was treated by their medical team. She is out of surgery, resting comfortably and is expected to make a full recovery.

“We are relieved that this crash was not worse than it could have been. While this crash is distressing, Chloe is young and a fighter,” said Jim Miller, USA Cycling’s Chief of Sport Performance. 

“With Chloe’s determination, we know she will be back riding before we know it. For now, we want her to focus on healing.”

Kristin Armstrong, Dygert’s personal coach, even went as far as to say she sees Dygert coming back from the crash in even better form. “Chloe is a gifted athlete. She’s had accidents in the past and returned stronger than ever. I have no doubt that this will be the case again.”

Nevertheless, the injury is a huge blow less than 12 months out from the postponed Tokyo Olympics. Dygert anchors the American team pursuit quartet who beat Britain to gold at this year’s world track cycling championships.

Dutch rider Anna Van der Breggen eventually took the victory on the 31.7-kilometre course, which started and ended on Imola’s famous motor racing circuit. The reigning Olympic road race champion clocked 40min 20.14sec with Marlen Reusser of Switzerland second, some 15secs slower, and Ellen van Dijk, also of Holland, third at 31secs.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Britain’s representatives Lizzy Banks and Alice Barnes finished 15th and 19th respectively. Banks, who took a brilliant stage win at the recent Giro Rosa, said she had “nothing left” in her legs and had “died” towards the end of her effort.” data-reactid=”31″>Britain’s representatives Lizzy Banks and Alice Barnes finished 15th and 19th respectively. Banks, who took a brilliant stage win at the recent Giro Rosa, said she had “nothing left” in her legs and had “died” towards the end of her effort.

“It was hard but isn’t a time trial supposed to be hard?” said the 29-year-old laughing. “It was a pretty flat course, but with quite a strong headwind so it was important to pace the first half really well, which I felt I did. But then in the second half I had nothing left in my legs. 

“I guess that’s just a consequence of Giro fatigue and not quite knowing how you’re going to come out of it.

“I was just trying to push on the way back and going over the rises, where I would normally be whacking out 400 watts, I could barely push what I would usually be trying to hold. So yeah, it was a challenge but a good learning experience. I was really dying at the end.”