Reigning U23 road race, time trial and criterium champion Emma White (Rally Cycling) will make her track racing debut this weekend at the Milton World Cup in Canada as part of the USA Cycling women’s Team Pursuit squad.
White, a three-time junior cyclo-cross national champion who was third in the U23 race last year, decided to forgo her cyclo-cross endeavors this year in favor of picking up track racing with an eye toward the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
White got her first taste of the track in April when personal coach Kristin Armstrong and USA Cycling track endurance head coach Gary Sutton convinced her to attend a talent ID camp in Colorado Springs. White quickly proved herself adept on the velodrome, and she announced in June that she planned to focus on the making USA Cycling track roster. She most recently finished a track camp with USA Cycling in Los Angeles to prepare for this weekend’s World Cup and to workout with the reigning Team Pursuit world champions.
“I feel like every day I learned so much, but it is definitely fast-tracking it, especially because this is the first time I’ve ridden with these girls – the whole Team Pursuit team,” White told Cyclingnews on Monday before traveling home from L.A. “It was a lot different than my past camps in Colorado Springs. It was a lot of immersion.”
White will be joined in the Team Pursuit this weekend by reigning world champions Jennifer Valente and Kim Geist. Christina Birch will round out the quartet after Kelly Catlin, who was also on the world championship team last year, fractured her arm in a training crash last week in Los Angeles. It was Valente, Geist, Catlin and Chloe Dygert who won gold at the World Championships last year in Apeldoorn, Netherlands, beating Great Britain by just over a second in the final round.
“They’re incredible,” White said of her new teammates. “I’m really lucky to be with them. They’re teaching me so much. They really know everything about all of these tracks and how to ride the pursuit technically, which has been one of my biggest challenges just because I’m not used to the track. I feel like I’m getting there with their help, and with Gary’s help, of course.”
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