It's been a busy past few months for world champion and record holder, Chloé Dygert. Luckily for us, we managed to grab some time with her between her Wattbike workouts to chat a little more about her journey, goals for 2020 and Wattbike top tips .
Hi Chloé, can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your background, where did it all start?
Cycling was not my first love, nor was it even something I even considered doing, even for fun. I was a runner, played soccer and basketball. But, after numerous injuries cycling was the only thing I could do that kept me healthy. My dad had done it his whole life, so I always had bikes, I knew bikes. It was just normal in the family, I couldn’t even tell you the first time I road without training wheels as I feel like it wasn’t even a big deal.
My climb in the sport of cycling was pretty swift. I competed in my first road cycling event in May of 2013 and two months later I went to junior nationals and was on the podium of every Junior (15-16) Nationals road cycling event. I then decided that cycling was my new sport. In 2014 I was sidelined by a torn ACL but returned in 2015. I raced all of spring and become the Junior (17-18) National Champion, qualified for junior worlds and was able to win the Junior Worlds time trial and road race. That’s where my career really began.
Can you give us your recollection of the Rio Olympics and your silver medal win?
2016 really was technically my second-year racing, [and my] first year as a “pro”. It really all happened so fast that when I look back on it I definitely realise that it was not a normal trajectory. It’s not that I didn’t appreciate every second of it, it’s that I didn’t acknowledge the significance of what it takes to be at that level. It was very special to be able to have won an Olympic medal and with it being my first games. Going as a team made things so much easier, especially with Sarah and her experience.
How about the 2019 World Championships in Yorkshire?
Yorkshire was one of the biggest weeks of my career. I hadn’t had a healthy season since 2016. In 2018 I had my concussion/crash which side-lined me for a long time requiring a surgery which sat me out even longer. It took me until August of 2019 to know that I was healthy and strong again. I had worked gradually all year long to see if I would even be able to get my fitness and strength back, if it came back at all. Being able to win the time trial there was such a huge relief, it had been my goal all year long… well since 2016.
And then there were more wins and records beaten at the 2020 track world champs in Berlin! How was that for you?
Berlin was my first track worlds since 2018 due to injury. It felt so nice to be back in the track atmosphere with the team. It was amazing to be able to work with the girls and be able to pull off the win in the TP and for myself to win the IP and also break the world record.
So, what are your goals for Tokyo?
I’ll be competing in 3 events. Obviously, the ideal goal is to win all three, which I want to do. But realistically not knowing our team plan yet for the road race I can’t have to goal to win if its planned for a teammate to win. But that’s still a win in my book.
Which do you prefer out of track and road racing? How do they differ in training?
It depends on the day and how much pain I am in at the time. Both are unique and how I prepare for them differs. But both require each other the be the best in both. On the road, doing track work is was gives me strength. On the track the road is what gives me my fitness.
What does a normal training day look like for you?
It depends on the day. Anywhere from 30 minutes easy spin on my Wattbike to 4 hours on the road.
How long have you been training on a Wattbike and what do you use it for?
I’ve been on the Wattbike since 2015. [It is] a vital tool we used in preparations for the games and really for everything else. We use Wattbikes for training together as a team and to be able to hit and master each and every workout we’re given.
What do you like most about the Wattbike? Why is it your performance equipment of choice?
I’ve ridden a Wattbike for 5 years now, it’s something I trust and would choose to use over a bike on a trainer. The Atom is a nice change from the Pro, it is perfect for my home workouts whereas the Pro is perfect for my track workouts.
What is your favourite session on the Wattbike?
Any session that requires a trash can! I think if you want to experience pain, doing a Wattbike workout is a perfect way of doing it.
Do you know what your max power is?
I don’t know exact numbers but nothing higher then 1400w.
What are your three top tips for Wattbike training?
Be ready to suffer, accept pain, make it hard!
Want to train like a pro? Check out these five Wattbike workouts designed by our athletes.