On Day 1 of the Professional Road National Championships, McNulty, Dygert, and Hasse win National Titles.
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – The first day of the 2023 USA Cycling Professional Road National Championships kicked off in Oak Ridge, Tenn., on Thursday. 54 riders made their way around the 11.6-kilometer course along Lake Melton to compete in the race against the clock, the Individual Time Trial. Chloé Dygert (Brownsburg, Ind.; CANYON//SRAM Racing), Betty Hasse (Providence, R.I.; CCB Alpine Carbon), and Brandon McNulty (Phoenix; UAE Team Emirates) all claimed the stars-and-stripes jersey in the Elite Women, U23 Women, and Elite Men, respectively.
The morning kicked off with the Elite Women’s Time Trial, where the women did two laps of the course for a total of 23.3 kilometers. Rain greeted the riders as they rolled out from the start house, cranking up the difficulty on the already technical course. Taylor Knibb (Washington, D.C.), the newly minted Trek-Segafredo Ironman Triathlete, held the hot seat for most of the race, stopping the clock at 31:41.22. The last three riders to start, Dygert, Lauren Stephens (Dallas; EF Education-TIBCO-SVB), and Pan-American Champion Amber Neben (Lake Forest, Calif.), would take over the hot seat in quick succession. Ultimately, Dygert had the fastest time, 31:06.65, earning her the national title. Stephens was second with her time of 31:15.67. Neben rounded out the Elite Women’s podium with her time of 31:39.54.
“I’m super happy to pull off the win here. That was the goal, in order to qualify for the ITT at the World Championships,” said winner Dygert. When asked about her next focus, she said, “Now it’s about moving on to the training and preparation in order to prepare as best I can for the ITT in Glasgow.”
1. Chloé Dygert (Brownsburg, Ind.; CANYON//SRAM Racing) 31:06.65
2. Lauren Stephens (Dallas; EF Education-TIBCO-SVB) 31:15.67
3. Amber Neben (Lake Forest, Calif.) 31:39.54
Part of the Elite Women’s race, riders aged 19-22 are also eligible for the U23 Women’s title. Last year’s bronze medalist, Hasse, bettered her position and time in much more challenging conditions. Cassidy Hickey (Parker, Colo.; Instafund La Prima) earned silver, and Chloe Patrick (Carson, Calif.; Serious Cycling) was third.
When asked about today's course conditions, Hasse said, “It was crazy town. It was raining steadily the whole time. I was riding the turnarounds, and there was a little ‘skirt skirt’ from my bike, and I just thought, ‘I just have to send it,’ and it worked for me.”
1. Betty Hasse (Providence, R.I.; CCB Alpine Carbon) 34:29.62
2. Cassidy Hickey (Parker, Colo.; Instafund La Prima) 35:08.06
3. Chloe Patrick (Carson, Calif.; Serious Cycling) 35:26.32
By the start of the Elite Men’s Time Trial, the weather mellowed to overcast skies and a light drizzle through the afternoon. The riders completed three laps of the course, totaling 34.9 kilometers, with course conditions only slightly better than what the women had. The final rider of the day, McNulty, put on a show for the fans, consistently setting a new best-time with every time split. At the finish, he stopped the clock at 40:39.22, marking the best time on this course since 2018, and the fourth-best time on this course ever.
When asked about coming back to the event after a hiatus since 2019, McNulty said, “I haven’t been out here in a few years, but it’s nice to come out here and win the national title.” The weather definitely played a factor in the race, and he said, “It’s not the most fun in the rain, but you just have to be careful in the turns, and go harder in the straightaways. I got lucky out there. The roads were still really wet, but no rain was actually falling on me.”
William Barta (Boise, Idaho; Movistar) was the silver standard for the men, punching the clock at 42:11.61. Multi-time Time Trial National Champion, Joseph Rosskopf (Decatur, Ga.; Q36.5 Pro Cycling Team) took third.
1. Brandon McNulty (Phoenix; UAE Team Emirates) 40:39.22
2. William Barta (Boise, Idaho; Movistar) 42:11.61
3. Joseph Rosskopf (Decatur, Ga.; Q36.5 Pro Cycling Team) 42:39.43
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