Published on Apr 9, 2018 by Tom Owen


Among the dozens of victories Coryn Rivera (Team Sunweb) has already claimed as a cyclist, her dominant sprint last year at the end of stage 3 of the AMGEN Breakaway from Heart Disease Women’s race empowered with SRAM is a special one.  “I obviously wanted to perform well in my home race and my home state”, the 25 years old athlete states, as she grew up in Orange County. “I was just really happy because I hadn’t won in California in a while so it was really nice to pull out the win there for the girls.”

At the time, the American star was riding the AMGEN Breakaway from Heart Disease Women’s race empowered with SRAM for the second year in a row as a professional rider. And “it made for a really fun week-end", she smiles. Far from the original home of professional cycling, but close to hers, Rivera was able to celebrate her success with her parents. “And also my boyfriend came up”, she adds. “It was really a fun environment and I was really happy to have friends and family watching me live because I’m always in Europe.”

All of these people gathered for a barbecue on the last day of the race, a sunny Sunday in Sacramento. They might have recalled another of the many successes Coryn Rivera amassed in her home state. “When I was 18, I took part in one of the first criteriums for the women, in Sacramento, and I actually won it”, the serial-winner recalls.

But mostly, it was the opportunity for Coryn Rivera to share with her teammates her experience as a professional rider travelling thousands of kilometres to attend competitions. “Cycling is more mainstream in Europe and it’s really nice to have what I do in the States”, she says, currently racing in Belgium to best her record from last year (3 World Tour victories, including the Tour of Flanders). “To have my European teammates experience what I have to do, you know, travelling across the Atlantic, racing in a foreign place and having to get used to the new culture and environment around you, I think it’s kind of showing them what I got to do.”

“The Europeans kind of complain a little bit when they go overseas”, Coryn Rivera adds. “And for me it’s just a normal thing. Like it’s normal to do a 10 hour flight across the Atlantic to get to a race. It’s not always easy to be in my shoes, travelling so much and being away from home and having to deal with time change. And they’re like: ‘Oh I never talk to anyone at home because they’re sleeping’. Yeah, think about how I feel because that’s what I do for most of the year”, she laughs.

The AMGEN Breakaway from Heart Disease Women’s race empowered with SRAM also shows “how cool it is to do a World Tour race in California. Usually you can find really really good weather in California. And also there’s just so many different kinds of terrains. You can be by the beach, you can be in the mountains, and you can have flats in the middle and some windy stages. There’s just so much to offer in California.”

Coryn Rivera and her friends will have another opportunity to enjoy it this May (17th-19th). “I’m just really excited to race again in my home state”, she says, with new prospects ahead: “Now Ruth Winder (5th overall and 2nd best young rider of the 2017 AMGEN Breakaway from Heart Disease Women’s race empowered with SRAM) is also a teammate and she’s also from California so we have two Americans on the team and I think we can really come together and have a good result.”

About the Author

Tom Owen

Tom Owen is a cycling writer who has worked with some of the cycling world's biggest media brands, covering everything from the top levels of the professional sport to bikepacking adventures in the Balkans.