Coryn Labecki will carry the pink colours of EF Education-Cannondale for road races in 2024, as the new women’s team confirmed the signing for next season. In criterium events across the first half of the year, look for the red, white and blue palette of the stars-and-stripes jersey on Labecki, as she earned her 73rd national title, this one as US pro criterium champion.
Labecki is fresh off her trip to Scotland with Team USA for her 10th appearance at the UCI Road World Championships. Her best finish was in 2010 when she took the bronze in the junior women’s road race. This time out, she took part in the Mixed Relay Team Time Trial, USA going eighth, and in the elite women’s road race, where she was unable to finish after going down in a bad crash.
“I grew up racing crits; that’s how I learned my race craft. I’m more of a stage race rider, a one-day kind of rider,” she told Cyclingnews prior to her win in Knoxville.
“It doesn’t matter what the course is, as long as there’s a finish line, my goal is to get there first or to get my team there first.”
After two years at Jumbo-Visma, she’ll look to lead the new team in one-day races as well as opportunities on any punchy courses at stage races. Team General Manager Esra Tromp noted that Labecki was a welcome addition for her veteran leadership, specifically her knowledge on how to read tactics and execute performance.
“Coryn is a rider I have known for a few years. She is a natural leader who can support riders really well and push her teammates to a higher level,” Tromp said.
“Coryn is super smart when it comes to analyzing races, seeing what happened and what happened with other teams, and understanding their tactics. She’s also a winner of some really big races, so she knows how to deal with pressure. That kind of experience will help with some of her less experienced teammates. Coryn is a really big believer in finding balance in focus and enjoying the time on the road.”
Labecki had a number of injuries while on the Dutch squad and did not have the individual success as her five years with the Team DSM programme. In the spring Classics in 2022, Labecki took sixth at Trofeo Alfredo Binda and ninth at Amstel Gold Race.
Over the months of spring, she battled COVID-19 twice and a stomach bug right after The Women’s Tour, which left her in fifth place at the US Pro Road National Championships. She then broke her collarbone at the end of August and was forced to miss Worlds. Her best individual results this year have been the US Pro crit title and a silver medal at the US Pro road race.
After making a splash with UnitedHealthcare from 2014-2016, she moved to Team Sunweb (later DSM), where she had a stage win and second place at the 2021 Giro d’Italia Donne, a pair of runner-up stage finishes at the 2021 Tour of Norway, two stage wins at the 2019 Lotto Belgium Tour. In one-day races, she scored victories in 2017 at the Tour of Flanders, RideLondon Classique and Trofeo Alfredo Binda. Her 2018 US Pro road race national title remains one of the most special results for the California native.
“I love that all-or-nothing mentality of one-day races. I like really punchy courses, something really dynamic that’s up and down all day, especially if there’s a slightly uphill finish that’s not too long. Races like that normally suit me really well.”
Labecki began racing as an 11-year-old, taking up cyclocross, mountain biking, track cycling, and road racing. Across these disciplines, in the past 20 years, she has racked up 73 national titles, ranging from junior to elite.
“I love the tactics. I love the strategy, how to be prepared, and everything that is involved with racing. That’s what drives me every day. I’ve been called a sprinter in the past, but I like to call myself a bike racer.” she said.
“I would do anything for my teammates. I always stand up for my teammates. I don’t take any guff. I’ve raced for a long time and been in the sport for a long time, so I love to share what I know and teach my fellow teammates. The other thing is I’m always looking for the best way for my teammates to win. That’s always on my mind when it comes to racing. I’m a big team player.”
Turning 31 later in August, Labecki said the fresh start in 2024 will see her back on a familiar brand, Cannondale, which was her first road bike. “I still have it, and now it’s my commuter bike,” Labecki said.
Her home when not racing is now in Pennsylvania, and Labecki has already set goals for 2024, including a focus on the road race at her second Olympic Games, having finished seventh in Tokyo.
“I’d love to get some wins. That’s my jam. To get a win next year would be beautiful, and it’s also an Olympic year which is another big goal of mine,” she said.
“Mostly, I just want to do whatever I can to help get some wins on the board. I just love racing, and it seems like this team is going to be a really good group to enjoy racing with.”