Jennifer Valente, who in Tokyo became the first U.S. woman to win Olympic track cycling gold, added a world title in the same event, the omnium, on Friday.
“I achieved the Olympic dream before this one, but this really had been on the forefront of my mind for a long time,” she said, according to USA Cycling.
Valente, 27, prevailed at the world championships in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, France, one day after taking bronze in a separate elimination race, which is not on the Olympic program.
The omnium, which debuted at the Olympics in 2012, is an event consisting of four races that take place on the same day: the scratch race, the tempo race, the elimination race and the points race. For the first three races, riders earn 40 points for a win, 38 for second and 36 for third and on down a descending scale.
In the final 80-lap points race, points are awarded for a sprint every 10 laps, including double points for the last sprint. Cyclists also gain and lose points by lapping the field or getting lapped.
Valente led by eight points over Dutchwoman Maike van der Duin going into the points race. She ended up winning by nine over van der Duin.
Valente, who took world championships bronze in the event in 2019, is the second American to win a world omnium title after Sarah Hammer in 2013 and 2014 (the last time an American won a world title in an individual track cycling event on the Olympic program).
Valente previously won four world titles in the team pursuit.
“The team gold medal is special in a completely different way,” Valente said, according to USA Cycling. “Every team world title that I’ve won has been with a really special group of people. But this is just a completely different experience.”
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🌈🇺🇸 Jennifer Valente 🇺🇸🌈
2022 UCI Women's Omnium World Champion 🙌#AQY2022 pic.twitter.com/sRqeKyVb0l
— UCI Track Cycling (@UCI_Track) October 14, 2022