Women’s Team Pursuit Rides to Bronze Medal at Tokyo Games
August 3, 2021
Jennifer Valente, Emma White, Chloe Dygert, and Megan Jastrab win the Bronze Medal Round.
TOKYO – Yesterday, the team of Jennifer Valente (San Diego; Twenty24), Emma White (Duanesburg, N.Y.; Rally Cycling), Chloé Dygert (Brownsburg, Ind.; CANYON//SRAM Racing) and Lily Williams (Tallahassee, Fla.; Rally Cycling) rode to a 4:10.118 setting a new National Record. This time also would have broken the World Record placed by Team Great Britain in 2016, until the Germans crushed the time earlier in the day.
In their first matchup of the day, Team USA raced against the British squad. The winner of the heat would make their way into the Gold Medal Round against Germany, who beat their own World Record from yesterday with a time of 4:06.166. Team GB led the first half of the race, with Team USA taking the advantage on the last few laps. Both teams never gained more than 0.1 seconds over each other. When the teams crossed the line, Team GB would have the advantage by 0.814, moving Team USA to the bronze medal race.
Olympic silver medalist and track team captain Jennifer Valente commented on their performance in the first round. “We’re proud of what we did out there. We left everything on the track. It’s just that Team GB had a little more gas. We’re going to go in against Canada and give it our all.”
Team USA took on Team Canada for the Bronze medal, going in as the favorite. The team of Valente, White, Dygert, and Megan Jastrab (Apple Valley, Calif.; Team DSM) led the race on every split against Canada, eventually taking the bronze medal. The Olympic medal would be Valente and Dygert’s second in the discipline, with White, Jastrab, and Williams all first-time Olympians.
Valente said, “I think anytime you come into the Olympics, you want to go for Gold, and today we put together some of the best rides that we were able to, and today on the day it was bronze, and we’re really proud of everything behind that and what this bronze means after a year and a half of not racing and really just coming together.”
There’s pressure coming in as the World Champions, but White is proud of the team’s performance. “We came here to get more than the bronze, being the defending world champions. The rides today were absolutely phenomenal. We’re really proud of what we did today. The blistering rides from Germany and GB today show how competitive this event is getting. Although this past year has been full of struggles, we’re proud of how we competed.”
All five women on the Team Pursuit team have worked together through the highs and lows and have trained relentlessly together for the past three years. Valente explained, “We all live in Colorado Springs, and we all train together in Colorado Springs. So, we really know our team inside and out, and each individual person and what they’re capable of. We lined up today, yesterday, and this whole Olympics, relying on each other and being very proud.”
White talked about becoming an Olympian. She said, “I started riding the track in 2018, with the hopes of coming to these Olympic Games in 2020. Never did I really believe that I would be here until the World Championships in Berlin last March. It’s been a wild ride with this amazing team. It took a lot of believing because I didn’t always think that I was capable of it. I have my team to thank for that and the coaches.”
Olympic and World records were demolished on the second day of Track Cycling in the Olympic Games. In the Gold medal race, Germany raced against Team GB, winning the gold medal by 6.365. Germany beat their own World Record, set earlier in the day, by 1.924 seconds finishing in with a time of 4:04.242.
Valente said, “We knew records were going to fall, and [Germany] put up a very, very impressive time. We knew they were coming, and they put together a very good ride on the day, and it gives everyone across the world something to shoot for.”
For tomorrow, Maddie Godby (Louisville, Colo.) will take on the first round of the Women’s Keirin. Quarterfinals, Semifinals, and Finals will take place the following day.
View the USA Cycling Olympic Team Press Kit for detailed rider information, quotes, and photos.
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