3 weeks agoby Tom Soladay

Jastrab claims Junior World Road Race Championships 🌈

Pre-race favorite delivers on the world stage

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.

Top three: Megan Jastrab (USA), Julie de Wilde (BEL) and Lieke Nooijen (NED). Photo: Sean Robinson/velofocus.com

“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 hugging teammate Katie Clouse after the finish. Photo: Anton Vos/Cor Vos

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.

Family affair

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.

Jastrab and Kiesanowski ahead of the race. Photo: Balint Hamvas/velofocus.com

“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. 

Be sure to follow all the latest action from Yorkshire on NBC Sports GOLD as McNulty and Pier-André Coté (Canada) finish the men’s U23 road race around 12 pm CDT on Friday, September 27th and the Canadian duo of Gillian Ellsay and Sara Poidevin tackle the elite women’s road race on Saturday, September 28th.

Junior Women’s World Championships – Road Race results

1 JASTRAB Megan 2:08:00
2 DE WILDE Julie ”
3 NOOIJEN Lieke ”
4 GAREEVA Aigul ”
5 BÄCKSTEDT Elynor ”
6 RÜEGG Noemi 0:03
7 VAS Kata Blanka ”
8 CURINIER Lea 0:05
9 MATHISEN Silje ”
10 VALLIERES Magdeleine 0:07