Coryn Labecki triumphs in 74th USA National Road Championships criterium

Coryn Labecki, of EF Education-Cannondale, captured her 74th national title in Charleston, West Virginia, with a spectacular final sprint. Labecki surged out of the last corner, overtaking solo breakaway rider Elizabeth Dixon of Fount Cycling just before the finish line.

“I just had to stay a little patient – she was right in front of us, so we could see her the whole time,” Labecki said. “I think a bit of luck worked in my favour, and I just went immediately out of the last corner because she was still winning off the front solo.”

Dixon had attacked smartly as rain began to fall midway through the 75-minute race, riding solo for half an hour. She built up a lead of 15 seconds, maintaining it until the last lap when a concerted chase from DNA Pro Cycling and Human Powered Health halved her advantage.

A crash disrupted the lead-out on the final lap, splitting the field. Labecki, without teammates in the race, avoided the mayhem and started her effort early, just managing to get past Dixon.

“I didn’t expect it to last as long as it did,” Dixon told Cyclingnews. “We were trying to animate the race and keep it hard. At the time that I went away, there were lots of attacks going, and I guess that was enough to sort of create a gap, and then I just kept it rolling. I thought that they would start chasing and close the gap quickly.”

“It was a very shocking last lap – I couldn’t believe that I was still off. And then at the end, I saw Coryn coming up on the side with a sprint – there was no way I could have matched it.”

Labecki had returned to the US after her spring campaign and raced in the Speed Week criterium series last month before heading to the national championships. She showcased the stars and stripes jersey she won in the criterium in Knoxville last year.

“I always do the crit for fun – no expectation. I just love racing it. I think it’s a good warm-up going into Sunday,” she said of the road race championships. “That’s how I approach it every year. And some years I’m lucky, some years I’m not. And I think this year it worked out really well for me.”

2024 USA Criterium National Championships Women result

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