Valente Earns Team USA’s First Medal at Track Worlds
October 13, 2022
Hoover and the Women’s Team Pursuit Team earned eighth in their events at Le Vélodrome National.
October 13, 2022, Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, FRA /ENDURANCE SPORTSWIRE/ – The finals for the Women’s Team Pursuit, Women’s Elimination Race, Men’s Scratch Race, and Women’s Sprints were all on the docket for the third day of the 2022 UCI Track World Championships in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, France. Team USA thrived with the busy schedule with Jennifer Valente (San Diego; Virginia’s Blue Ridge TWENTY24) earning bronze in the Women’s Elimination Race, Gavin Hoover (Manhattan Beach, Calif.; L39ion of Los Angeles) raced to eighth in the Men’s Scratch Race. The Women’s Team Pursuit squad of Megan Jastrab (Apple Valley, Calif.; Team DSM), Colleen Gulick (Long Beach, Calif.; Team Skyline), Shayna Powless (Roseville, Calif.; L39ion of Los Angeles), and Lily Williams (Tallahassee, Fla.; Human Powered Health) earned eighth in the Women’s Team Pursuit.
Women’s Elimination Race
Returning to the event where she topped the podium twice at Nations’ Cups, Valente took on the Women’s Elimination Race with an eye on the gold medal. For most of the race, she controlled the front, making riders work around her to avoid elimination. This tactic also helped avoid the chaos at the back of the field, including a crash that removed three racers from the competition. Ultimately, it came down to Valente, Lotte Kopecky of Belgium, and Rachelle Barbieri of Italy. When Kopecky attacked after the elimination of the fourth-placed rider, Valente responded but couldn’t overtake the duo, putting her in a position to be eliminated. This bronze is Valente’s fifteenth world championship medal of her career.
“The elimination is always a tough race, even if you ride well its hard from start to finish,” said Valente about the event. “I did well in the two nations cup eliminations this season. Tonight, the race, for me, went well, up until just three of us remained. Barbieri went and I missed the reaction. Lotte had the faster legs today to take the win.” When talking about her career medals and focus for these World Championships, she said, “I’m happy to earn my fifteenth World Championship medal. I’m shifting my focus to tomorrow’s race.”
1. Lotte Kopecky (BEL)
2. Rachelle Barbieri (ITA)
3. Jennifer Valente (USA)
Men’s Scratch Race
Reigning UCI Track Champions’ League Endurance Champion Hoover was eager to compete in the 60-lap Men’s Scratch Race. The race was active, and Hoover raced well with solid positioning until a kilometer and a half left in the race. At which point, he was stuck towards the back of the peloton. However, Hoover adjusted his position and was able to sprint towards the front on the final lap, earning him eighth.
1. Dylan Bibic (CAN)
2. Kazushige Kuboki (JPN)
3. Roy Eefting (NED)
8. Gavin Hoover (USA)
Women’s Team Pursuit
In the conclusion of Wednesday’s Team Pursuit qualifying, the line-up of Jastrab, Gulick, Powless, and Williams were ready to go. With two new members on the squad, Gulick and Powless, the team quickly found their rhythm on the track as they went against defending world champions Germany. The team stopped the clock at 4:21.460, which earned them an eighth place in the event.
1. Team ITA – 4:09.760
2. Team GBR – 4:11.369
3. Team FRA – 4:10.774
8. Team USA – 4:21.460
During the morning session, Kayla Hankins (Scottsdale, Ariz.), and McKenna McKee (Vancouver, Wash.; Team Novo Nordisk) each contested their first-ever individual event at an Elite World Championship, the Women’s Sprint. Placed early in the seeding rides, the duo stopped the clock at 11.385 and 11.564, respectively. However, at the end of seeding, their times slotted them 32 and 33, respectively, and they would not move into the first round of competition, as only the top 28 riders advanced out of qualifying. The Women’s Sprint competition will conclude on Friday.
Valente takes on the Women’s Omnium tomorrow morning, the four-in-one event in which she won her Olympic Gold Medal. Following her, Anders Johnson (Huntsville, Utah) and Brendan Rhim (Norwich, Vt.; Wildlife Generation Pro Cycling) race against the clock in the Men’s 4,000-meter Individual Pursuit. Finally, in the evening session, Grant Koontz (Nederland, Colo.; Star Track) tackles the Points Race.
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