2021 Pro Road TT hero 1130x600
National Championships

Dygert & Craddock Claim First Road National Titles since 2019

By: Tom Mahoney  June 17, 2021

The pair of Olympians competed against America’s best time trialist in Oak Ridge, Tenn.

The 2021 USA Cycling Pro Road National Championships kicked off in Oak Ridge, Tenn. on Thursday with the Individual Time Trial. Riders took to multiple laps of the 11.6-kilometer course in a race to beat the clock. For the Elite Women, 2019 Time Trial World Champion Chloé Dygert (Brownsburg, Ind.; Canyon//SRAM) stopped the clock at 30:11.22, earning the stars-and-stripes jersey. Lawson Craddock (Houston; EF Education - Nippo) claimed the Elite Men’s title in a time of 41:33.90.

“It’s a great step forward to win in my new CANYON//SRAM team colors. My coaches, my team, and I will now go right back to work and focus on preparations towards Tokyo and the road season ahead,” said Dygert on winning. “I’m so honored to have raced here in Knoxville and so proud to wear this national championship jersey.”

The Elite Women’s event kicked off the day with the women taking two laps of the course. Twenty-two riders took the start at the Melton Hill Reservoir. Taking the second step of the podium, Dygert’s Tokyo Olympic Games teammate, Amber Neben (Irvine, Calif.; Cogeas Mettler Look Pro Cycling), finished in a time of 30:38.74. Leah Thomas (Santa Clara, Calif.; Moviestar Team Women) took the final step of the Elite Women’s podium, joining her fellow Tokyo Olympians.

Also recognized out of the Elite Women’s event was the Under-23 Women’s podium, consisting of all riders 22-years or younger in the field. Taking the top spot in this group was Kira Payer (Housatonic, Mass.; CCB Foundation), finishing in a time of 35:00.44. Ava Sykes (Clover, S.C.; LUX/Sideshow p/b Specialized) took home the silver in a time of 36:02.19.

Payer said, “I felt really good, actually. Kind of just eased into it. I was aiming for a negative split, and it’s more technical than I expected, but I just kind of focused on each aspect, broke it down into segments, and was a smooth ride,” on her ride.

The Elite Men’s event had 45 starters, all doing three laps of the course. The largest in recent history, the field was ready for a challenging course, with finishers getting consecutively faster throughout the day. In the end, Craddock earned the top step on the podium. Chad Haga (McKinney, Texas; Team DSM) duplicated his efforts from 2019, placing second with a time of 41:51.44, less than 18 seconds behind the winner. Craddock’s teammate and soon-to-be-retired professional bike racer, Tejay van Garderen (Basalt, Colo.; EF Education – Nippo), was the bronze standard for the day, finishing 29.28 seconds back from Craddock.

“Making the Olympics and was a big goal mine well before my professional career started. I was able to realize that this year and that’s such an incredible opportunity and something I can take with me for the rest of my life,” said Craddock on heading into the Olympics as National Champion. “Things are definitely starting to click this year for me, and I’m excited to move forward and get the year going.”

Racing continues tomorrow with the criterium taking place in downtown Knoxville. The Elite Women’s race kicks off at 6:00 p.m. ET with a 70-minute race. The Elite Men start immediately after at 7:20 p.m. ET with an 80-minute race. Both events will be live-streamed on FloBikes. Members can take advantage of their USA Cycling member benefit and get 20% off a FloBikes subscription by using the link in their member benefits profile.


Elite Women

1Chloé DygertCanyon//SRAM30:11.22
2Amber NebenCogeas Mettler Look Pro Cycling+0:27.52
3Leah ThomasMoviestar Team Women+0:50.38

U23 Women

1Kira PayerCCB Foundation34:22.68
2Ava SykesLUX/Sideshow p/b Specialized+1:40.31

Elite Men

1Lawson CraddockEF Education – Nippo41:33.90
2Chad HagaTeam DSM+0:17.54
3Tejay van GarderenEF Education – Nippo+0:29.28