Despite the fact that at 28 she is hardly old, Team Sunweb’s Coryn Rivera is one of the most experienced riders in the team; where the average age is just 24. Her 72 U.S. national titles – across road, cyclocross and track cycling – along with the Tour of Flanders for Women and The Women's Tour victories ensure her experience is, vitally, of how to win. In the truncated 2020 season that could be key to Team Sunweb’s success.
“It’s kind of funny being one of the older riders on the team” Rivera laughed. “I’ve always been one of the younger ones, and always learning. But it seems like you go from young to old in a year. I must say though, it has been really fun sharing what I know with the younger women. I try to be a mentor to them and having been there so recently I can remember what it was like and what I wanted to learn when I was a younger rider on the team.”
Given the crowded race calendar, following the restart to the 2020 season Rivera’s experience is going to be key to Team Sunweb’s success. “Now that racing has resumed its been full gas” she emphasised. “Full gas and full focus too. It’s a compressed season, but all the important races have been kept in. With so many big goals on the horizon the will to perform is high too. We always start races aiming to perform, but this year the hunger is higher than usual.”
“We’re really grateful that we still have a season” Rivera added. “Compared to some sports, where competitions were cancelled, we’re exceptionally fortunate. So, we’re grabbing the opportunity with both hands and going into every race full gas. Personally, I’m looking forward to the Giro and the Classics.”
“If we, as a team, can start off the Giro Rosa with a good result, in the time trial, that would be great” she continued. “After that I’d like to go for stage wins while supporting our GC riders in their quest to finish as high as possible on the overall standings.”
Given Team Sunweb’s ability in the team time trial it’s not impossible that Rivera, or one of her teammates, could start Stage 2 in the leader’s pink jersey. After the Giro Rosa the Classics provide the American with a series of chances to notch up another major victory. Currently the 2017 Tour of Flanders for Women title ranks as her most prestigious World Tour victory.
In 2020 Rivera will have another shot at ‘De Ronde’ followed by a chance to be the first women’s Paris-Roubaix champion, a week later. Getting to late October in shape to contest a monument will require careful management of workload. Staying injury free is also essential, and part of that is having the prefect bike fit.
For this season Rivera changed saddles, within the PRO Bikegear range. “Team Sunweb have been using PRO saddles for two years now” she explained. “I switched to the PRO Turnix women’s specific saddle this year, after using the PRO Stealth saddle the previous season. I’ve used the PRO Saddle Selector in the past to narrow down my choices, but after having ridden on both I found that I had a more comfortable fit on the Turnix.”
With her bike fit dialled in Rivera is ready to perform over the coming months. “Team Sunweb are like a big family, we all draw inspiration from the development and men’s teams; as they do from us” she highlighted. “The men have been flying at the Tour de France and that gives us motivation to be as good, if not better, at the Giro Rosa and beyond.”
Follow Rivera and her fellow Team Sunweb riders’ progress in the coming months on Twitter, @CorynRivera, and Instagram, @corynrivera.
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