Valente Scratch Gold 23 1130x600
Team USA
2023 World Championships

Valente Wins 2023 World Championship Scratch Race

By: Tom Mahoney  August 04, 2023

Jennifer Valente is now tied with Sarah Hammer as the most decorated American Track Cyclist in history, each with 15 Elite World Championship Medals.

During the evening session of the second day at the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome, Jennifer Valente  (San Diego; TWENTY24 Pro Cycling) tackled her first individual event, the Women’s Scratch Race. The 40-lap race was action-packed, with attacks breaking up the group in the latter half of the event.

Spain and Egypt put in a massive attack at six laps to go, where the two riders separated themselves from the bunch. The race stayed together for most of the event, but Valente knew she had to stay on the offensive. “The GB rider that attacked a little bit earlier in the race kind of mixed things up. From that point, the flow was somewhat disrupted, which made for a more exciting race. The sprint was pretty chaotic, and it was strung out still with five to go and four to go, but it ultimately did end up coming down to a field sprint in the last couple of laps,” said Valente. With several more events to go, she’ll be setting her eyes on the next race.

At three laps to go, Maggie Coles-Lyster (Canada) brought the group back together. Valente stayed in a good position on the outside. She focused on her position to execute the perfect attack. “I wanted a bunch sprint for the finish. There were a couple of riders off the front with a decent gap. I was keeping an eye on that and keeping an eye on how other riders were setting up their sprints. I was really glad we were all together for the finish.”

At one lap to go, she put in an incredible effort up around the outside and was in front with half a lap to go. Dutch rider, Maike Van Der Dunn, followed the attack and kept on her wheel, but Valente was able to edge her out at the line. This win marked Valente’s second individual World Title and sixth gold medal throughout her Elite career. She has 18 total World Championship medals between her Elite and Junior careers.

Valente attacked early but went into with a strategy saying, “I couldn’t see her, but I was very aware. You always kind of think of what you would do. If I were her, I would be trying to take a run. When I went knowing someone was always going to be there pushing on the outside.”

When asked how winning tonight’s event felt, she said, “It’s just the beginning of competition for me. There’s a lot of racing to go, so it’s really exciting, but I’ll be trying to refocus for the rest of the events.”