Maja HitijGetty Images
The 2020 UCI Track Cycling World Championships—taking place February 26 through March 1 at the Berlin Velodrome—are expected to produce some thrilling races in the final showdown before the 2020 Olympics this summer.
This championship represents the final opportunity for the almost 400 cyclists from 45 countries to earn points toward the rankings that will determine Olympic qualification for the events in Tokyo.
The U.S. women’s team this year is stacked with eight of the country’s best: Chloe Dygert, Megan Jastrab, Kendall Ryan, Jennifer Valente, Emma White, Lily Williams, Mandy Marquardt, and Madalyn Godby. Team USA won the women’s team pursuit event three years in a row from 2016 to ’18, but placed seventh last year.
The American men’s team features Ashton Lambie, Adrian Hegyvary, Daniel Holloway, and Gavin Hoover. Lambie, who previously in the individual pursuit at the 2018 Pan American Track Cycling World Championships, will race in the individual pursuit once again on Friday.
[Find 52 weeks of tips and motivation, with space to fill in your mileage and favorite routes, with the Bicycling Training Journal.]
Below, we’re rounding up the highlights from each day, and we’ll be updating throughout the event.
DAY 4 HIGHLIGHTS
(Via AFP) American cycling star Chloe Dygert won the women’s pursuit title at the track cycling world championships in a new world record time on Saturday, but admitted she was “bummed” not to have gone faster.
Showing improving form as the Tokyo 2020 Games swing into view, the 23-year-old cross-discipline champion trimmed more than three seconds off the old 3k time set in 2018, winning the world title in three minutes, 16.937 seconds.
The American pulverized German rival Lisa Brennauer, who came in over six seconds adrift.
“Today I really wanted to get a 14 [3:14] so I’m a little bummed,” she told cycling website Velonews.
“My all-time goal, I want to break 3:10. I think there are some huge gains to be made.”
The women’s 3k pursuit is not on the Olympic roster, but Dygert aims to race the team pursuit in Tokyo as well as the road race individual time-trial.
“Everyone is going to make gains before the Olympics so we have to prepare for that. We cannot assume things. I’ve got to work harder than ever.”
Dygert, 23, who is coached by three-time Olympic gold medallist Kristin Armstrong, stunned the road race circuit by beating Dutch duo Anna van der Breggen and Annemiek van Vleuten to take gold in the world time-trial in Yorkshire last September.
DAY 3 HIGHLIGHTS
(Via AFP) Italian Filippo Ganna beat his own men’s individual pursuit world record with a time of four minutes and 1.934 seconds before clinching his fourth world title in the event in Berlin on Friday.
The 23-year-old, who rides on the road for Team Ineos, was close to breaking the symbolic four-minute mark in his qualifying run at the track world championships.
Ganna had previously set the record in November, clocking four minutes, 2.647 seconds in November.
He claimed his fourth individual title, having also taken gold in 2016, ’18 and ’19, by cruising to victory in the final against American Ashton Lambie in four minutes, 3.875 seconds. Frenchman Corentin Ermenault beat Italian teenager Jonathan Milan to take the bronze.
DAY 2 HIGHLIGHTS
After setting an American record on Wednesday night, the U.S. women—Dygert, Valente, White and Williams—won gold in the 4,000-meter team pursuit, beating Great Britain in the final.
After a disappointing showing in this event last year, Team USA is back to performing at a high level, and has Olympic gold in its sights with the Games just five months away.
(Via AFP) Denmark smashed the men’s team pursuit world record for the third time in two days on Thursday as they raced to the gold medal.
Lasse Norman Hansen, Julius Johansen, Frederik Rodenberg Madsen and Rasmus Pedersen cut two seconds off the record previously set on Wednesday.
Silver went to New Zealand with Italy beating Australia for the bronze.
DAY 1 HIGHLIGHTS
Jennifer Valente won the U.S.’s first medal of the 2020 track cycling world championships, a silver in the women’s scratch race behind Kirsten Wild of the Netherlands. Valente has competed at the world championships every year since 2015, to the tune of .
Valente’s silver medal came after warming up in the women’s team pursuit, where the U.S. women finished first in the qualifying round. It looks like they’re just getting started, too—they set a in the women’s 4,000-meter team pursuit while they were at it. The first round and finals of the women’s team pursuit will take place the following day.
The qualifying round of the men’s team pursuit was just as thrilling: The Danish team set a … twice, first besting the record from 2013 in the first round, and then shaving even more time off in the final round, while winning the gold medal.