Olympic track champion Valente re-energised on American criterium tour

Jennifer Valente on the attack during 2022 Speed Week in College Park, Georgia
Jennifer Valente on the attack during 2022 Speed Week in College Park, Georgia (Image credit: Adam Koble)

Olympic Omnium gold medalist Jennifer Valente is used to the large, loud crowds that pack alongside the banked turns of a velodrome, so there was nothing unusual earlier this month when she transitioned to the criterium scene for the 43rd annual Athens Orthopedic Clinic Twilight Criterium. Amid the course-side party atmosphere in Athens, Georgia, Valente took third place.

Aside from a few cycling-savvy spectators among the throng of 20,000 that were estimated along the barriers and nearby tailgate parties and bistro patios, few were aware that a three-time Olympian and recent gold medalist was in contention for a long-overdue criterium podium.

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Jackie Tyson
North American Production editor

Jackie has been involved in professional sports for more than 30 years in news reporting, sports marketing and public relations. She founded Peloton Sports in 1998, a sports marketing and public relations agency, which managed projects for Tour de Georgia, Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah and USA Cycling. She also founded Bike Alpharetta Inc, a Georgia non-profit to promote safe cycling. She is proud to have worked in professional baseball for six years - from selling advertising to pulling the tarp for several minor league teams. She has climbed l'Alpe d'Huez three times (not fast). Her favorite road and gravel rides are around horse farms in north Georgia (USA) and around lavender fields in Provence (France), and some mtb rides in Park City, Utah (USA).