(L-R) Lily Williams, Jennifer Valente, Emma White and Chloe Dygert pose for a photo at the UCI Track Cycling World Championships on Feb. 27, 2020 in Berlin, Germany.
After a one-year break, the U.S. women are in rainbow jerseys once again in the team pursuit and will enter the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 as world champions.
Jennifer Valente, Emma White, Chloé Dygert and Lily Williams raced to the gold medal at the UCI Track Cycling World Championships Thursday in Berlin, reclaiming the title the U.S. held for three straight years by beating Great Britain.
Though their time of 4 minutes, 11.235 seconds wasn’t quite as fast as the 4:11.229 they posted in qualifying on Wednesday, which not only led the field but also set a new American record, it was enough to hold off a British team that featured two members from the 2016 Olympic gold-medal team. Great Britain finished in 4:13.129. Germany won the bronze medal.
The team pursuit is always a blazingly fast race, and the showdown against Great Britain was no exception. At the halfway point the U.S. was even faster than it was earlier in the day in the first round, when it finished in 4:11.634 to secure a spot in the gold-medal final.
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This is the fourth world title in five years in the event for both Valente and Dygert, who were both part of the team that won the first-ever world championship in team pursuit for the U.S. back in 2016.
That same year, the U.S. won the silver medal with Great Britain winning gold at the Olympic Games Rio 2016. Valente and Dygert were again on the 2017 team that made it two in a row and the 2018 team that ran the streak to three.
Last year’s team, of which only Valente and White were a part, finished in seventh.
The current foursome has been solid all season for the U.S. and were coming off a win in the final world cup of the season back in January.
The U.S. led after qualifying, edging Great Britain by just .642 seconds, and then beat New Zealand in final heat of the first round, just after Great Britain beat Canada.
Karen Price is a reporter from Pittsburgh who has covered Olympic and Paralympic sports for various publications. She is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.