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Jennifer Valente claimed Team USA’s first medal at this year’s UCI Track World Championships in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, France, with bronze in the women’s elimination race.
The American track specialist finished behind winner Lotte Kopecky of Belgium, and silver medalist Rachelle Barbieri from Italy.
“The elimination is always a tough race, even if you ride well it’s hard from start to finish,” Valente said after receiving her medal.
“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. I’m happy to earn my 15th world championship medal. I’m shifting my focus to tomorrow’s race.”
Valente, who won gold at the Tokyo Olympic Games in women’s omnium, was ever-present at the front of the race.
She avoided a mid-race crash that took out several competitors. She was unable to respond when Kopecky turned on the afterburners late on and was forced to settle for third on the night. The bronze medal equaled Valente’s result in the elimination race at last year’s worlds championships, and she will turn her attention towards the women’s omnium on Friday.
Elsewhere at the world championships, Gavin Hoover raced to eighth in the men’s scratch race, while Megan Jastrab, Colleen Gulick, Shayna Powless, and Lily Williams powered to eighth in the women’s team pursuit.