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After suffering a string of injuries and other health setbacks, the U.S. Olympic track and road star will make her 2023 road season debut in Spain.
“I can say I am finally 100 percent healthy, just a few aches and pains here and there,” Dygert said Thursday. “I haven’t been this healthy in three years. I still have to work on my fitness, but I am just so happy to be back racing.
“I’m grateful to have been able to pin a number on my back again at last weekend’s track World Cup.”
Dygert will be part of the seven-rider Canyon-SRAM squad, which includes Kasia Niewiadoma, Pauliena Rooijakkers, and Elise Chabbey. The U.S. rider has raced just once for Canyon-SRAM — at the 2022 Omloop Het Niewsblad — since joining the team ahead of the 2021 season.
Dygert’s first season with the team was derailed by a devastating leg injury she suffered in a high-speed crash at the 2020 road world time trial championships.
Since then, it’s been one step forward, and two steps back for the two-time Olympic medalist.
After a long rehabilitation, she made her debut for the squad at Omloop in early 2022, but contracted the Epstein Barr virus in the spring and then went on to have a second surgery on her previously injured leg.
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Heart problems in the fall, which also required surgery, set Dygert back yet again. She eventually made her competitive return with the U.S. track team at the Milton round of the Nations Cup earlier this month and will now race on the road for the first time in 14 months.
“Some setbacks in my winter training blocks derailed my early season plans,” Dygert said. “I would say I’ve had more spring training than winter training in preparation for this season. But I am happy to be now healthy and fit enough to join Canyon-SRAM Racing for La Vuelta by Carrefour.”
The Vuelta Femenina kickstarts Monday with a 14.5km team time trial in Torrevieja, where Dygert will play an important role for the team. With Niewiadoma and Chabbey potential contenders for GC results, a good start in the TTT will be key.
“It’s my second race with the team, and I’m feeling excited,” Dygert said. said. “The TTT is always fun and will be a great way to start the tour. As for my goals, I’m here to be the best teammate possible. Whether it’s for me or one of my teammates, I’m here to do whatever it takes to get our Canyon-SRAM jersey to the line first. It’s also a big race for me leading up to my major target races for the year.”
Canyon-SRAM for La Vuelta Femenina