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US women's team pursuit squad races to fourth world title in five years in Berlin

Lily Williams, Jen Valente, Emma White and Chloe Dygert celebrate their gold-medal-winning ride in the team pursuit at the 2020 UCI Track World Championships in Berlin, Germany
Lily Williams, Jen Valente, Emma White and Chloe Dygert celebrate their gold-medal-winning ride in the team pursuit at the 2020 UCI Track World Championships in Berlin, Germany (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

The United States women's team pursuit squad – made up of Chloe Dygert, Lily Williams, Emma White and Jen Valente – rode to what was team's fourth gold medal in five years at the UCI Track World Championships in Berlin, Germany, on Thursday, beating the Great Britain team in the final by almost two seconds.

The final pitted them against a GB team made up of Elinor Barker, Katie Archibald, Eleanor Dickinson and Neah Evans, while Laura Kenny had been enlisted earlier in the day to power the British squad into the final.

The US team dispatched the British with a time of 4:11.235 in the 3,000m event, 1.894 seconds faster than their rivals.

Netting the US team's rainbow jerseys bodes well for this summer's Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan. Four years ago, in Rio de Janeiro, in Brazil, the women's team pursuit squad had to settle for the silver medal after being beaten by Great Britain in the final.

Back then, Valente and Dygert were part of the team that also included the now-retired Sarah Hammer and the late Kelly Catlin, who died last March.

"It was a special achievement for us in the first Worlds since Kelly's passing, and this race is dedicated to her. We had Kelly in our hearts and that got us to the line first," Dygert told the BBC after winning the gold medal.

"I'm proud of what this team accomplished tonight," added USA Cycling's women's track endurance head coach Gary Sutton in a press release on Thursday. "They pulled together and rode really well, like I knew they could. This is the starting point for Tokyo and our plan is to only go up from here."

On Friday, Valente will also take part in the Omnium, as the championships continue with the men's kilometre time trial, individual pursuit and points race, and the women's sprint. The competition in Berlin ends on Sunday.