Sep. 22—Veronica Ewers’ rapid ascent through the ranks of women’s cycling has brought her to the realization of another major career goal as she prepares to represent Team USA this weekend in the UCI Road World Championships in Australia.
The 28-year-old Moscow High School alum, who normally rides with Team EF Education-TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank, led all American women with a ninth-place showing at the women’s Tour de France in July before being formally selected for the event by USA Cycling in August. She is one of seven American women who will embark on the 102.5-mile course starting in Wollongong, Australia, at 4:55 p.m. Pacific time Friday (11:55 a.m. Saturday local time).
Ewers, who has cited the opportunity to travel and see the world as one of the chief appeals of life on the pro cycling tour, arrived in Australia last week and is making her first visit down under.
“I’ve enjoyed exploring the town of Wollongong and some of the surrounding areas,” she said. “The people have been quite nice and most seem quite supportive of and excited for the race. I did get attacked by a magpie whilst on a training ride, so I’m basically a local now!”
Team USA took sixth out of 19 national teams at last year’s world championship in Belgium, with the Netherlands placing first behind the leadership of Marianne Vos, who came in second to Elisa Balsamo of Italy among individuals. Kristen Faulkner, who herself formerly raced for EF Education-TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank before switching to Team Bike Exchange-Jayco, is the top member of Team USA in UCI world rankings at 25th, while Ewers currently sits second at 30th.
Faulkner aside, Ewers never before has raced on the same team with her compatriots in this event, but she has built ample familiarity with them on an individual level during the past year since joining the professional tour.
“(W)e all know each other well from being in the peloton together, and finding camaraderie among each other because we are all Americans in a predominantly European field,” Ewers said. “I am excited to see how we do in this race as we haven’t raced together as a team before, but I think we have a strong squad and that we will play well off of each other’s strengths. … It is spring time here and will likely be cold and rainy during our race, which isn’t the best conditions for me, but it should make the race even more epic.”
Wendt may be contacted at (208) 848-2268, or [email protected].
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