US cycling standout, of PH descent, eyes Olympic berth
LONDON—For over 15 years of racing along smooth high-speed roads, punishing climbs and rough unstable terrain, Coryn Rivera has amassed 72 national titles in the United States and several international victories in a variety of race categories.
She’s 27 and she has Filipino roots. But the long-time US resident was unable to work out a plan with the cycling association in the Philippines to represent the country and is now making a run to be part of the American national team in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
And a near-triumph in the Prudential Ride London Classique, where she was nosed out by two other riders at the line of the biggest and richest two-day cycling festival in the world, pushed her closer to her goal.
“I have to do one race at a time and be consistent. I need a win in the (world) tour to earn that [Olympic] spot,” said Rivera, whose next two rides to gain more UCI ranking points will be in Sweden and Norway.
Rivera was hardly perturbed after getting pipped in the end by Dutch rider Lorena Wiebes, the eventual champion who won 25,000 Euros (roughly P1.471 million), and Italian Elisa Balsamo in the one-day, 20-lap race that ended in front of Buckingham Palace.
“It just makes me more hungry,” said the California-based rider, the 2017 Prudential RideLondon champion.
Ranked 29th in the world, Rivera will need an overall triumph in the ongoing world tour to automatically make it to the US national team bound for Tokyo.
Before the 2018 US Pro Road Race national champion signed up as a pool member of the US national cycling squad in 2010, Rivera got feelers to suit up for the Philippine team but it was hardly pursued at that time.
“It’s nice to have a (Filipino) following here. I had a nice trip to the Philippines last year with Prudential. It’s cool,” said Rivera told Filipino journalists who covered her and celebrity riders who joined the bike festival.
Television host Gretchen Ho rode the London-Surrey 46 race while fellow Pru Like UK ambassadors Kim Atienza and actor Zoren Legaspi completed the London-Surrey 100-mile ride.
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