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Team USA secures Five Top Ten Performances and Valuable Olympic Points at Track World Championships

By: Kelly Fox  March 04, 2019

Colorado Springs, Colo.- Racing concluded on Sunday at the 2019 UCI Track World Championships in Pruszkow, Poland. With a young team, Team USA was focused on giving their new riders experience while also gaining valuable Olympic points. U.S. riders finished the event with five top ten performances and a Bronze medal by Jennifer Valente (San Diego, Calif.).

The event started on Wednesday with the Team Pursuit qualifying round.  The women’s squad of Jennifer Valente, Emma White (Duanesburg, N.Y.), Christina Birch (Los Angeles), and Kimberly Geist (Allentown, Pa.) advanced to the first round which took place the following day and placed 7th. Valente and Geist were part of the 2017 and 2018 Gold Medal winning squad, Valente also won Gold in the event in while Birch and White joined the squad for the 2018-19 World Cup season.

White, a multi-time National Champion on the road and in Cyclocross chose to forgo the Cyclocross season this year to focus on the track. When asked about her experience she said, “Worlds was special for me because it was a testament to how far we’ve all come in a year. We got better every time we raced together. It’s exciting to think about how much more we can improve in the next year leading into 2020.”

Team USA had top performances on Friday in both the Men’s Individual Pursuit and the Women’s Omnium. In his second World Championships World Record Holder, Ashton Lambie (Lincoln, Neb.), placed fifth in the Individual Pursuit besting his 8th place result from 2018 and setting a sea-level personal best in the process. Lambie also competed in the Team Pursuit earlier in the week with Gavin Hoover (Manhattan Beach, Calif.), Eric Young (Geneva, Ill.) and Colby Lange (Vail Valley, Colo.) placing 13th.

“It’s been a long season and we’ve had a lot of ups and downs. With our recent success at World Cups, we had high hopes for World Championships,” said Lambie, I’m pleased to have improved on Individual and Team Pursuit results from last year in a much more competitive field. I’m looking forward to going full gas into next season with a camp in a few weeks as well as a big year with the Pan Am Games. I’m proud to be moving in the right direction with this team.”

Hoover, who suffered from cracked rib due to a crash earlier in the season, competed in both the Individual and Team Pursuit said, “The World Championships and the last two World Cups were a great confirmation of the work we’ve done as a program over the last six months. We’re still not quite where we’d like to be, but we’re closing the gap. I’m excited to continue building with the team into the 2019-2020 season and fix some of the small issues that will make us more consistent and faster.”

After suffering a crash in the Scratch Race on Thursday, Jennifer Valente took the track again on Friday to compete in the Omnium. After winning the Elimination Race, she recovered from a crash in the Points race to score enough points during the final sprint to secure bronze, earning her eighth World Championship medal. Valente took the track again on Sunday and placed 8th in the standalone Points Race.

“We've learned a lot this week across the entire team,” said Valente, “The results don't always reflect the work that's been done and the progress we've made, but we are building towards the future. For me, I learned to focus on one race at a time and not letting the ups and downs get to me.  Just keeping focused on the process and staying in the moment.”

World Cup Gold Medalist Madalyn Godby (Colorado Springs, Colo.) also secured a top ten finish in the Keirin on Sunday.

Scott Schnitzspahn, VP of Elite Athletics for USA Cycling said, “We've come out of this Worlds having gained valuable experience and key learnings and continued to progress toward Olympic qualification in a number of events.  We have good momentum in the team as we head into the final half of the Olympic qualification period and are looking forward to what we believe we can achieve in Tokyo in 2020.”

For complete results and information on the 2019 UCI Track World Championships in Pruszkow, Poland visit the event website here: http://www.pruszkow2019.pl/

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For more information contact Kelly Fox: kfox@usacycling.org