Over the past four weeks, Megan Jastrab has shown the world what American cycling fans have known since she came onto the junior racing scene: she is a force to be reckoned with. Jastrab joined other promising U.S. junior riders, Katie Clouse (Park City, Utah; DNA Cycling), Zoe Ta-Perez (Orange, Calif.; Lux Cycling), Jane Tullis (Rome, Ga.; Lux Cycling), Ava Sykes (Clover, S.C.; Lux Cycling) and Gabrielle Lehnhart (Eugene, Ore.; Lux Cycling), in competing for USA Cycling at the Junior Nation’s Cup races where the U.S. is currently ranked first.
Coming off a stage win earlier that week at the Redlands Classic, Jastrab traveled to Italy to compete in the Trofeo Da Moreno where she won the field sprint with teammate Katie Clouse placing sixth. The following weekend, the team raced in Belgium at Gent-Wevelgem where Jastrab won the field sprint to take second with Clouse finishing fifth.
During their off-week, the team opted to do a small kermesse in Belgium where Jastrab and the USA Cycling Junior Women Development Squad also made waves for a third weekend in a row. Without the option of a women’s field they raced with the junior men where Jastrab placed third in a field of 82 men.
This past weekend was the Healthy Ageing Tour, a three-day stage race in the Netherlands. Jastrab won all but two jerseys, claiming the top step on the first and third stage as well as the overall GC. During the last stage, after having some mechanical difficulties she got a bike change in the last 7km, she then chased back to the peloton between the cars to catch the peloton at 1km at win the sprint.
“I am extremely happy with my performance and the team’s performance at Healthy Ageing Tour. After only 4 weeks of riding together, I can confidently say we rode as one,” said Jastrab, “Going into the final stage with the GC lead, we knew it was going to be a battle and everyone went all in to keep the GC.
On the final stage with 5k to go I broke 7 spokes of my front wheel and had to have a bike change. It was a fast change and I got back in the group quickly. After that, I had to work my way through the peloton of a 100 girls. I took gaps where I saw them and was at the front again with around 3k to go. Going into the final straight away I was with Katie [Clouse] and then moved to top 5 with 1k to go and waited till around 200 to start sprinting.
It was an amazing feeling winning the stage and keeping the GC, BYR, and Points Jerseys after all the work the girls and I put in this weekend.
I can’t thank USA Cycling enough for providing me with this opportunity to race in Europe for the last 4 weeks. I learned a lot and had an amazing time.”
With the U.S. ranked first in the Nation’s Cup standings, leading second ranked Great Britain by 17 points, they will be allocated the maximum amount of five slots for the junior women category at the 2019 World Championships this September in Yorkshire, U.K.
- United States 84 Points
- Great Britain 67 Points
- Netherlands 55 Points
- Sweden 42 Points
- France 33 Points
“This team really came together in this race when the pressure was on,” said Jeff Pierce, Director of Elite Athletics, Road and Track for USA Cycling, “They answered all of the attacks in a very aggressive race and delivered Megan to the final kilometers in perfect condition. It was an impressive performance by everyone. Megan was simply unstoppable in the sprints. The other countries are all very happy to see her get on the plane today back to the USA.”
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About USA Cycling (usacycling.org)
USA Cycling is a proud member of the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) and United States Olympic Committee (USOC). Within the United States, USA Cycling is the national governing body for the sport of cycling and oversees the disciplines of road, track, mountain bike, cyclocross, and BMX. With a mission to develop the sport of cycling in the United States and to achieve sustained international racing success, USA Cycling supports cyclists at all levels, from those just beginning in the sport and participating in fun rides to seasoned professionals. The organization not only identifies, develops, and selects cyclists to represent the United States in international competition, but also supports amateur bike racing through grassroots development programs and the provision of critical infrastructure to run organized racing.
USA Cycling is headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and will celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2020. In 1920, the organization began as The Amateur Bicycle League of America and evolved to become the United States Cycling Federation in 1975 and ultimately USA Cycling, Inc. in 1995. USA Cycling’s 100,000+ members are comprised of racers and cyclists of all ages and abilities, coaches, officials, mechanics, and race directors.