Gibson Worlds 23 1130x600
Team USA
2023 World Championships

Five Top-Ten Finishes and a World Title Highlight Day Eight for Team USA

By: Angelina Palermo  August 10, 2023

Dygert, Neben, Gibson, Blunk, Aagard, and English led the charge in the Time Trial, Short Track, and Cross-Country events.

Day eight of the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships brought on a bevy of events for Team USA. In Stirling, north of Glasgow, Chloé Dygert  (Brownsburg, Ind.; CANYON//SRAM Racing) recaptured gold in the Elite Women’s Individual Time Trial. In Glentress Forest to the east, Gwendalyn Gibson  (Ramona, Calif.; Trek Factory Racing) and Savilia Blunk  (Inverness, Calif.; Rockrider FORD Racing Team) both captured top ten finishes in the Elite Women’s Short Track race. Earlier in the day, Andie Aagard  (Highland, Utah; Bear National Team) and Daniel English  (San Ramon, Calif.; Bear National Team) led the Juniors in their Cross-Country events.

Mountain Bike Cross-Country

The Americans have been successful at the Short Track World Championships since its addition to the World Championship schedule two years ago. Christopher Blevins  (Durango, Colo.; Specialized Factory Racing) won the 2021 World Championship and narrowly missed the win in 2022. Gibson proved her spot on the front line placing third last year, and riding at the front of the race for many World Cups this season.

The Elite Men went first, with Blevins as the lone American in the event. He crashed during practice earlier in the week, breaking his pinky and getting stitches in his chin. He took the proper protocol with the USA Cycling team doctors and was cleared to race.

After a fast start, Blevins rode consistent laps in the middle of the field. The group was strung out the entire time, then Sam Gaze (NZL) attacked on the last lap, separating them even more. Gaze would take back-to-back wins, and Blevins would cross the line with the group in 19th.

Elite Men’s Short Track

1 – Sam Gaze (NZL)

2 – Victor Koretzky (FRA)

3 – Tom Pidcock (GBR)

19 – Christopher Blevins (USA)

The Elite Women followed the men's race. Gibson and Blunk were the two riders representing Team USA. The duo had excellent positioning, rode smart, and stayed controlled as they kept up with the lead group in the top ten. By the last lap, it was all out. Gibson crossed the line in fourth, and Blunk finished in eighth. Overall, a stellar performance as these two head into the Cross-Country race on Saturday.

Elite Women’s Short Track

1 – Pauline Ferrand Prevot (FRA)

2 – Puck Pieterse (NED)

3 – Evie Richards (GBR)

4 – Gwendalyn Gibson (USA)

8 – Savilia Blunk (USA)

It's been a rainy few days, but Scotland brought the heat and humidity for the junior races on Thursday morning. The Junior Women were the first to take off. National Champion Aagard rode from a front-row call-up and ticked riders off one by one. She earned an impressive eighth place on a challenging course for her first World Championship experience. Vida Lopez de San Roman  (Sebastopol, Calif.; Bear National Team) was on fire from the start and stayed within the top ten for the first few laps. Ultimately, she finished in 23rd, with teammate Kellie Harrington (Pittsfield, Mass.; Bear National Team) following suit in 24th.

Junior Women’s Cross-Country

1 – Isabella Holmgren (CAN)

2 – Marin Lowe (CAN)

3 – Natalia Grzegorzewska (POL)

8 – Andie Aagard (USA)

23 – Vida Lopez de San Roman (USA)

24 – Kellie Harrington (USA)

The Junior Men were next on the schedule. English had a front-row call-up and stayed consistent the entire race. He powered through every punchy climb and showed his technical skills on the descents. He would finish the day in eleventh. National Champion Nicholas Konecny (Breckenridge, Colo.; Bear National Team) had an impressive start sitting just outside the top ten. After a tough few laps battling in a big group of riders, he finished the day in 38th. Raulito Gutierrez  (Temecula, Calif.; Bear National Team) was pretty far back on the call up list and was involved in a start-line crash. He fought hard, moving from dead last to 69th.

Junior Men’s Cross-Country

1 – Albert Philipsen (DEN)

2 – Elian Paccagnella (ITA)

3 – Ian Ackert (CAN)

11 – Dan English (USA)

38 – Nicholas Konecny (USA)

69 – Raulito Gutierrez (USA)


Thursday afternoon saw the Junior Women take on the 13.4-kilometer Time Trial in downtown Stirling, Scotland. The event began with Samantha Scott  (Boise, Idaho; CompEdge Racing) clocking a time of 21:41.72, good enough for 30th. Ella Brenneman  (York, Pa.; Kelly Benefits Strategies Cycling) was the next American junior on the course. She finished her race in a time of 21:35.70, which earned her 28th place.

Junior Women’s Individual Time Trial

1 – Felicity Wilson-Haffenden (AUS)

2 – Isabel Sharp (GBR)

3 – Federica Venturelli (ITA)

28 – Ella Brenneman (USA)

30 – Samantha Scott (USA)

In the Elite Women’s race, Dygert was the first from Team USA to battle the challenging climbs and corners of the 36.2-kilometer course. Coming in at a time of 46:59.80, Dygert remained in the hot seat for the entire day. After battling illness and injury, she said, “It’s definitely been a tough road. It’s not just me. I have a huge support system from Canyon SRAM, USA Cycling, and my family. I owe a lot to them. At the beginning of the season, it was a question if I was going to ride again. A lot of support from everybody behind me, and that’s why I’m on the top step today.”

Later in the day, teammates Amber Neben  (Irvine, Calif.) and Lauren Stephens  (Dallas; EF Education-TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank) took to the course in the final wave of riders. Stephens rode a solid race, stopping the clock at 50:26.88, placing her 22nd. The Pan American Time Trial Champion, Neben, was the final American to start the race. Her pacing was consistent with each time check going as planned. She ultimately secured an eighth place finish, completing the race in 48:51:58.

Elite Women’s Individual Time Trial

1 – Chloé Dygert (USA)

2 – Grace Brown (AUS)

3 – Christina Schweinberger (AUT)

8 – Amber Neben (USA)

22 – Lauren Stephens (USA)

Up Next

Only three days remain of the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships. On Friday, the U23 Cross-Country Races will begin in Glentress Forest, and the Junior & Elite Men will return to Stirling for their Individual Time Trial events.