Team USA Women’s Team Pursuit Slots Into Third on First Day Of Track Cycling At Tokyo 2020 Games
August 2, 2021
Dygert, Valente, White, and Williams stop clock at 4:10.118
TOKYO – Thirteen days into the Tokyo 2020 Games, the track cycling events kicked off at the Izu Velodrome, two-and-a-half hours south of Tokyo. The reigning Women’s Team Pursuit World Champion squad of Chloé Dygert (Brownsburg, Ind.; CANYON//SRAM Racing), Jennifer Valente (San Diego; Twenty24), Emma White (Duanesburg, N.Y.; Rally Cycling), and Lily Williams (Tallahassee, Fla.; Rally Cycling) opened the 7-day event for Team USA with the Women’s Team Pursuit Qualifying.
Starting seventh out of eight teams, the women’s squad had the ability to watch all but one team compete before them. The squad from Germany, consisting of Franziska Brausse, Lisa Brennauer, Lisa Klein, and Mieke Koerger, broke the World and Olympic record by stopping the clock at 4:07.307, almost three seconds faster than the record set in 2016 by the British team in Rio. Their time put them in first. The British team of Katie Archibald, Elinor Barker, Laura Kenney, and Josie Knight would seed second with a time of 4:09.022. The American squad would keep a close pace to the German’s, finishing with a time of 4:10.118, earning the third seed out of qualifying.
Talking about the world record breaking ride from the German team, Gary Sutton, USA Cycling’s Women’s Track Endurance Coach, said, “We knew there would be world records broken this week. That’s the first thing. The track’s quick, and our schedule was for 4:07. We went out for 15-second laps. That’s what the plan was.” He further explained, “That’s where we’re at at the moment. But, you know, one thing you do here, you take one round at a time and tomorrow is a different day. We’ll go back. We’ll look at the data; we’ll look at the pool structure and try to rearrange things. That’s a big gap. But tomorrow’s a different day.”
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USA Cycling is the national governing body for the sport of cycling and oversees the disciplines of road, track, mountain bike, cyclocross, and BMX. USA Cycling’s mission is to champion accessibility, participation, and excellence in the sport of cycling to make more Americans healthier, happier, and better on two wheels while achieving sustained international racing success. USA Cycling supports cyclists at all levels, from those just beginning in the sport and participating in fun rides to international caliber racers. The organization identifies, develops, and selects cyclists to represent the United States in international competition through the support of kids’ and interscholastic programs, amateur bike racing and grassroots development programs, and the provision of critical infrastructure to run organized racing. USA Cycling has a membership of 100,000, annually sanctions over 2,500 events, and is a proud member of the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) and United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC).