Rally UHC Cycling’s Megan Jastrab won gold in the junior women’s road race at the UCI Road World Championships in Yorkshire, England, narrowly finishing ahead of Belgium’s Julie De Wilde.
The 17-year-old American was perfectly set up by her USA Cycling teammates heading into the technical finale of the 86 km race. When Junior World Time Trial Champion Aigul Gareva (Russia) attacked off the front with two kilometers remaining, Jastrab was the only rider strong enough to respond.
The duo built up a narrow five-second advantage heading into the finishing straight where Jastrab launched her sprint from 150 meters out and won the world title ahead of a charging field.
“I can’t believe it,” said Jastrab. “I’m just so grateful for my teammates. They were there from beginning to end and I just couldn’t lose after their efforts.”
In 2019, Jastrab has emerged as arguably the top junior in the world, winning two stages and the overall at the Healthy Ageing Tour, claiming victory in Italy’s Trofeo Binda, finishing second at Gent-Wevelgem, and claiming two gold medals at the UCI Track World Championships.
“It was stressful being one of the favorites,” said Jastrab. “I had to play my cards right and look for the right moment to make my move.”
Jastrab is being rewarded for her contribution to the team with a contract extension for the 2020 season. Similar to many of her Rally UHC Cycling teammates, Jastrab will balance her passion for racing with her pursuit of higher education at Milligan College.
Directing USA Cycling’s junior women at the World Championships was none other than Rally UHC Cycling team director Joanne Kiesanowski. Her familiarity with Jastrab and background as a former Olympian helped propel Team USA to the top step of the podium.
“It was incredible,” said Kiesanowski. “The girls have been amazing at handling pressure and performing when it counts.”
As one of the top teams in the UCI Nations Cup rankings, Team USA had high expectations going into Worlds and the entire team stepped up.
“We knew we had someone who could win today,” said Kiesanowski. “I was impressed that all the girls believed in that and did everything they could in a chaotic race to support it.”
With Brandon McNulty’s bronze medal ride in the men’s U23 individual time trial, Rally UHC Cycling riders have claimed two medals so far at this year’s UCI Road World Championships.
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Bike racing was put on pause due to the global pandemic. But the men and women of Rally Cycling were still able to participate in some pre-season training camps and compete in a handful of early-season races at the beginning of the year. Check out this gallery of their custom FR road bikes.
The global COVID-19 put a halt to professional bike racing this season. So although the men and women of the Rally Cycling team were able to compete in a handful of early-season races, we wanted to shine a spotlight on their gorgeous bikes that would have no doubt been breaking away to several victories this year.