NewsJennifer Valente

Jennifer Valente’s Three-Medal Haul Leads U.S. Track Cyclists At Nations Cup In Milton

by Chrös McDougall

Jennifer Valente (L) leads Team USA as they compete during the women's team pursuit qualifier at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 on Aug. 2, 2021 in Izu, Shizuoka, Japan.


Jennifer Valente’s full set of medals highlighted four days of track cycling competition north of the border at the UCI Nations Cup in Milton, Ontario.
The three-time Olympic medalist posted a win in the women’s elimination race, took second in the omnium and helped the women’s team pursuit take third, in doing so helping account for half of Team USA’s total medals in the competition. Fellow 2020 Olympian Gavin Hoover reached the podium twice, taking second in the men’s omnium and third in the elimination race, while Olympian Lily Williams was third in the women’s scratch race.
The performance follows the season opener in April in Glasgow, Scotland, when no Americans reached the podium.
The Nations Cup, which replaced the UCI World Cup circuit last year, features several events that aren’t on the 12-event Olympic program, including the elimination and scratch race.
The 27-year-old Valente was one of the top stars at last year’s Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, and she kept it up over the weekend.
On Thursday, the opening day of competition, she joined Megan Jastrab, Shayna Powless and Williams to claim bronze in the team pursuit. The Americans finished in 4:21.169 to edge Canada at 1:04.832 in the bronze final. Italy beat Australia for the gold medal.
Valente, Jastrab and Williams were also members of the U.S. team that won a bronze medal in the event at the Tokyo Olympics.
Also at those Games, Valente claimed the gold medal in the omnium, in which riders accumulate points based on their results across four races. This time the San Diego native finished second, scoring 110 points to the 117 for Italy’s Elisa Balsamo on Saturday. Valente ranked second in the scratch race to open the competition but lost ground when taking sixth in the tempo race.
Her win in Milton came Friday in the elimination race, this time getting the better of Italy’s Silvia Zanardi.
Hoover, who made his Olympic debut in Tokyo, moved up from fourth place in the omnium in Glasgow to win a silver medal in Milton with 128 points. That was three better than bronze medalist Jan-Willem van Schip of the Netherlands but 35 behind gold medalist Ethan Hayter of Great Britain.
On Friday, Hoover finished third in the elimination race, behind Belgium’s Jules Hesters and Yoeri Havik of the Netherlands.
Rounding out the medalists for Team USA was Williams, also an Olympic rookie in Tokyo. She was behind Italy’s Martina Fidanza and Lonneke Uneken of the Netherlands in the women’s scratch race Friday.
Following the North American stop, the Nations Cup next resumes July 7-10 in Cali, Colombia.

Chrös McDougall has covered the Olympic and Paralympic movement for since 2009 on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc. He is based in Minneapolis-St. Paul.