Chloé Dygert hit with Epstein-Barr virus and will miss spring classics

Two-time Olympic track medalist and 2019 world time trial champion is recovering, but team hopeful she will be able to hit season's major targets.

Photo: Maja Hitij/Getty Images

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BRUGES, Belgium (VN) — American rider Chloé Dygert is sidelined with the Epstein-Barr virus and will miss the spring classics, Canyon-SRAM teams officials confirmed to VeloNews.

The two-time Olympic track medalist and 2019 world time trial champion felt something was off after she raced Omloop Het Nieuwsblad last month in what was her first road race since the Tokyo Olympic Games last summer.

Tests later confirmed an Epstein-Barr infection, and she is currently in the United States recovering.

“She is sick and staying in the U.S. and now we have to see how long she will take for recovery, and then we can get her slowly back into training and build her up. And then we decide on the goal and the process and when she can start racing again,” Canyon-SRAM sport director Lars Teutenberg told VeloNews.

“She had some sensations after Omloop after and the recovery wasn’t going that well. She did a test and it came out positive, and since then she’s resting. There is no real start date right now.”

Also read: Dygert makes strong road return at Omloop

Dygert was slated to race Thursday’s Exterioo Classic Brugge-De Panne with her Canyon-SRAM teammates.

The setback comes as Dygert, 25, was building back toward a major push on pavement this season.

After focusing on track racing in the wake of her devastating crash at the 2020 world time trial championship that left a huge gash in her leg, Dygert helped power the team to a bronze medal in the women’s team pursuit last summer.

“The doctors are taking the lead and then we have to re-test her and see how the blood values are, and then slowly getting her back into training. Then we can find some easier racing to get back into rhythm and focus on the summer,” Teutenberg said.

“Typically, it’s not that long of a recovery. Her level was quite high after the break that she had after the Olympics, she is getting fast into good condition. We just need to be patient now and give her the time.”

Team confident Chloé Dygert will bounce back from latest setback

Dygert, shown here at the 2020 track worlds, faces another hurdle. (Photo: Photo by Sebastian Gollnow/picture alliance via Getty Images)

The setback is the latest hurdle for Dygert, who suffered a horrendous crash during the 2020 time trial race in Imola, Italy. She suffered a horrible deep gash into her left thigh after she crashed into a guardrail in a sweeping right-hander corner as it appeared she was on track to win a second world time trial title.

Dygert fought back to win the U.S. time trial title last June that helped her punch her ticket for the Tokyo Games. She won bronze in team pursuit, but missed out on the medals in road racing, finishing 31st in the road race and seventh in the time trial, more than one minute off the podium.

Teutenberg said Dygert is taking the latest setback in stride.

“I think she is OK. She questioned that a little bit with all the other issues, and now there is a new issue in the game, and that doesn’t make life any easier,” he told VeloNews. “That’s how it is and we have to deal with it. For the big highlights for the season, things will be fine.”

Teutenberg expressed optimism Dygert will be able to race the U.S. nationals in June as well as race in the debut Tour de France Femmes and in the world championships later this season.

Right now, however, there are no races on her calendar.

“She gets the time to recover 100 percent, and then we adapt the race program to her needs to get her in the right condition for the season highlights,” he said. “It’s world championships, and before that, she needs to qualify in the end of June with the U.S. team, and in July, we hope for the Tour de France. Those are the most important parts of the season.”

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