First-year Junior and teenage phenom, Megan Jastrab (Apple Valley, Calif.; Rally-UHC) added another Rainbow Jersey to her already growing collection by winning the Junior Women’s Road Race at the 2019 UCI World Championships marking USA Cycling’s third Rainbow Jersey and sixth medal so far during the competition. Earlier this year, Jastrab won two Junior World titles at the 2019 UCI Junior Track World Championships in the Omnium as well as the Madison with National Team Teammate, Zoe Ta-Perez (Orange, Calif.; LUX Cycling)
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Megan Jastrab did not let the tag of pre-race favourite get the better of her as she formed part of an incisive attack with less than 2km to go before having the legs to outsprint her rivals to secure a famous win in Harrogate.#Yorkshire2019 pic.twitter.com/BQMl5Q1zug
— ???? Yorkshire 2019 (@Yorkshire2019) September 27, 2019
The squad of Jastrab, Ta-Perez, Ava Sykes (Athens, Ga.; LUX Cycling), Katie Clouse (Park City, Utah; DNA Pro Cycling) and Gabrielle Lenhert (Eugene, Ore.; LUX Cycling), who have been racing together in Europe throughout this season with the USA Cycling National Team in Europe, lined up today with one goal in mind: get Jastrab to the finish to give her the opportunity to display her killer sprint. Despite the team getting tangled up in a few crashes, the team delivered. After animating the race during the early kilometers with some strong attacks, the U.S. riders settled into the peloton letting other nations do some work. With 19 kilometers to go, two riders went off the front in an attempt to stay away through the finish. The duo was caught inside 3 kilometers of the finish, leaving the jersey up to a sprint. Jastrab, who showed her sprinting muscles several times this season winning Nation’s Cups, launched her sprint overtaking her competitors to win the gold.
When asked whether she felt that USA Cycling’s dominating performances earlier in the week had any impact on her performance she said, “I think it helped a lot, the team’s morale throughout the whole entire week with the U23s and Zoe and I’s performance in the Junior Women’s TT’s, the Elite Women, Quinn and Magnus’ performance yesterday. It was just really motivating to see everybody’s hard work come together and we definitely wanted to keep it going.”
Jastrab began racing in 2014 and has enjoyed a quick rise to the top echelon of cyclists and not just in the Junior category. This year Jastrab added a stage victory at the Redlands Classic to her palmares, powering away from the field to win the Pro Women’s race of the day on junior gears. The 17 year-old has won over 25 National titles, including an Elite title on the track in the Madison with fellow National Team rider and Olympic Silver Medalist, Jennifer Valente (San Diego, Calif.)
“Megan has proved time and again that she is a force to be reckoned with every time she clips into a bike,” said Jeff Pierce, Director of Elite Athletics, Road and Track for USA Cycling, “The entire junior women’s squad has come a long way this year. Aside from their long list of accomplishments on the bike, we’ve watched them grow into polished and professional cyclists that still truly enjoy getting on the bike. We can’t ask for anything more than for these women to be great ambassadors of the sport while continuing to assert their dominance on the World’s stage.”
“I’m just so grateful for my teammates today!”
— UCI (@UCI_cycling) September 27, 2019
“The future of women’s cycling in the U.S. is looking bright,” said Joanne Kiesanowski, who has directed the Junior Women’s National Team throughout this season, “When young girls look at cycling in the U.S. and see that these rising stars aren’t much older than them, we hope it inspires them to chase their goals. I’m extremely proud of what our women have accomplished so far in this competition and look forward to building off this trajectory.”
Photos – SWpix.com