The Allie Dragoo-Janelle Cole Twenty16 Summer Tour continues Sunday at the Philadelphia International Cycling Classic.
Both Michigan women have been named to the Twenty16-Ridebiker p/b Sho-Air squad set to race at the UCI Women’s World Tour event June 5.
Dragoo, a 27-year-old veteran racer from Grand Rapids, and Cole, a 20-year-old collegiate phenom from Rockford, are facing six trips up the iconic Manayunk climb, a hill so steep it’s called “The Wall,” during Sunday’s six-lap, 118.7k (73.8 mile) race. “The Wall’s” gradient averages 10% and pitches skyward at a leg-searing 17% for one section.
Twenty16 goes into Sunday’s race ranked 2nd in U.S.A. Cycling’s Pro Road Tour standings and 7th on the UCI’s WWT. Twenty16 team leader Kristin Armstrong is ranked 2nd on the PRT and is still in the running for a spot on the U.S. Olympic Team.
Dragoo and Cole have been major contributors to Armstrong’s and Twenty16’s success.
Dragoo opened with stage and GC wins at both the Valley of the Sun Stage Race in Phoenix, Ariz., and the Chico Stage Race in California, then soloed to a stage win at the Energiewacht Tour in Groningen in the Netherlands.
She was one of the big engines in Twenty16’s upset win in the team time trial at the Amgen Tour of California and a major contributor to the squad’s second straight team title there.
Dragoo is currently ranked 16th among 230 Cat 1 women in the U.S.
Cole has split time between the Brevard (N.C.) College squad (where she won silver in both the TT and crit at USA Cycling’s 2016 Collegiate Road Nationals) and Twenty16 (where she took gold in the crit and silver in the road race at the Clemson SE Collegiate Cycling Championships).
Cole rode hard in support of Dragoo in Phoenix and Chico and rejoined Twenty16 for the recent Volkswagen USA Cycling 2016 Pro Road Race & TT Nationals in Winston-Salem, N.C.
Cole finished 16th in the road race at the ensuing Winston-Salem Cycling Classic. She is currently 35th in the PRT standings and is ranked 10th among 389 Cat. 2 women racers in the U.S.