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Jennifer Valente defends endurance series lead at UCI Track Champions League

Valente does enough to retain overall after strong comeback by Katie Archibald in round two of racing, Lily Williams holds on for third.

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Olympic champion Jennifer Valente narrowly defended her overall lead in the women’s endurance series of the UCI Track Champions League in the second round of racing Saturday.

Valente did enough to stay top of the standings after a strong comeback from Olympic and world championship star Katie Archibald (Great Britain).

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Archibald beat Valente in tense battles in both the elimination and scratch races in this weekend’s Berlin round of the UCI series and narrowed the Californian’s series lead to just six points.

“The scratch was really tough,” Archibald said.

“I wanted to attack early, but then I thought ‘I’ll hold back.’ Suddenly Jennifer Valente rode over, and from my seat it looked like she might decide to go when no one else could. She came with me, and we had to commit. I was thinking I’ll take a gamble and made my move. When we got the lap, I felt a bit more confident.

“The elimination was also a hard race until the very end. However, tonight has gone brilliantly and two wins feels amazing. I feel like I’ve come in with a super power.”

Lily Williams put U.S. riders one-three on the endurance series podium with a narrow advantage over fourth-place Sarah Van Dam (Canada).

Martha Bayona Pineda (Colombia) is in the overall lead of the sprint category, while Harry Lavreysen (Netherlands) and Mathias Guillemette (Canada) top the tables in the men’s sprint and endurance leagues respectively.

Valente takes her slim lead over Archibald into the next round of racing in St-Quentin-En-Yvelines, France, next weekend.

The five-night Track Champions League wraps up with two trips to the Lee Valley VeloPark, London, on December 2 and 3.