DENVER • Half a world away, Chloe Dygert-Owen is feeling the love. And rightfully so.
The American cyclist capped a special four days in the Rockies, winning the third edition of the Colorado Classic in dominant fashion Sunday.
Dygert-Owen celebrated with her Sho-Air Twenty20 teammates once it was over, absorbing the cheers from the crowd after securing her fourth straight stage victory. The scene felt almost perfect for the 22-year-old. Except for something was missing.
Someone was missing.
Logan Owen is in Spain, enjoying his own milestone moment on a bike. The Education First rider began competing Saturday in the Vuelta a Espana, his first start in one of men’s cycling’s three grand tours. And while he has several days of hard racing in front of him, his focus has been understandably split.
“Really happy for my wife!” he tweeted from 5,000 miles away. “The results that she is achieving @CoClassicPro are great steps on her way to the worlds this year and then the Olympics in 2020.”
The results were overwhelming. Nothing could stop her. Not gravel. Not a brutal climb. Not a devilish descent. Not the sweltering temperatures that engulfed LoDo on this blue-sky afternoon.
It was quite simply the Chloe Classic.
“When it comes down to pure effort, I cannot believe Chloe. She is just a freak of nature,” gushed one teammate, Allie Legg.
“Monster performance for sure,” noted another, Jenn Valente.
Mari Holden is the team director who helped orchestrate the four-part masterpiece. She followed from behind each day in a car, imparting advice and offering encouragement. Despite the high expectations she harbors for Dygert-Owen, the blistering effort on the road even seemed to take her by surprise.
“You forget that Chloe’s only 22 so, I mean, it’s amazing,” Holden said.
Australian Brodie Chapman, who rides for TIBCO, finished second in the overall standings, 2 minutes, 37 seconds behind Dygert-Owen. Israeli Omer Shapira, of Canyon-SRAM, was 2:57 back in third.
Stage 4 was largely anticlimactic considering the advantage Dygert-Owen built over the first three days. The 52.8-mile route included eight laps through the Mile High City with a finish in front of Coors Field. LUX cyclist Janelle Cole took second on the stage while Emma White, who trains in Colorado Springs and rides for Rally-UHC, was third.
With a successful trip to Colorado behind her, Dygert-Owen’s long-term focus turns to next month’s world championships in England and the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, where she aspires for gold. Her immediate attention, though, likely will be centered on her husband.
“We’re always in competition with anything and everything, whether that’s who’s getting the mail first or who’s going to eat first,” she said.
With the couple’s anything-you-can-do-I-can-do-better mantra, it’s safe to say the pressure is now on Logan.