Mid-season additions of USA’s Jennifer Valente and Allie Dragoo strengthen the diverse program
Long-standing women’s cycling program Sho-Air TWENTY20 Cycling welcomes the return of the talented all around athlete Allie Dragoo (USA) and powerful track specialist Jennifer Valente (USA).
“We have added two gifted athletes to our National Championship squad for next week. I have been watching Jenn Valente since her years as a junior in San Diego. I’m thrilled that she will be returning to the team to race with us on the road. Her track power and speed will add incredible depth to our squad. She will really benefit from some road endurance over the next few years on her journey to Tokyo 2020 Olympics. It was a big surprise to have Allie decide to come back to our team. We welcome her with open arms and I am excited for the opportunity to work with her again,” said Sho-Air TWENTY20 Director, Mari Holden.
Valente was a member of the team from 2011 through 2015. Dragoo raced for the program from 2014 through 2016.
“I have a track background and so does Sho-Air TWENTY20, which helps in making a smooth transition into road racing. The road races add something new to my training, which is a good change of pace after the last few years. I’m also very excited to continuing to be riding Felt Bikes after a successful Olympics and World Championships on the Felt TA FRD superbikes,” said Valente.
Valente won a gold medal at the UCI Track World Champions this spring, along with a silver medal in the team pursuit at the 2016 Rio Games. Valente is a San Diego, California native who attends University of Colorado, Colorado Springs. Most recently, in the opening weekend in 2017 World Series of Bicycling season at the Valley Preferred Cycling Center where 19 nations participated. Valente scored a dominating victory in the omnium and multiple other events.
“Last weekend I got two good days of track racing in the legs at the Valley Preferred Cycling Center in Trexlertown, PA. There was a UCI Omnium on Friday and some mass start racing on Saturday. The racing was hard, with long and hot days at the track, but I came up with the win in the Omnium which I was very pleased with. The velodrome puts on great events with fireworks and live music for the fans, and both sprint and endurance riders are able to earn valuable UCI points in one location. I will be racing the Omnium again this week before I fly out to meet my teammates for Road Nationals,” said Valente.
Dragoo returns to the squad after gaining experience on the European circuit. She was an instrumental part of the 2016 program and brings now international road racing experience, including some of the famed European classics, back to the program.
“I am excited to finish the 2017 season with Sho-Air TWENTY20. I cannot thank Nicola and staff enough for taking me onboard and being 100% supportive. I am thrilled to share some of road experience with this squad and look forward to the races ahead. Being close to home makes my heart happy and a happy heart makes a happy person, athlete, and adds to my overall performance,” said Dragoo. “A special thank you to Cervelo Bigla Pro Cycling team and staff for having me for the first part of the 2017 season. The program, team and staff were all amazing and I am very grateful for the experience I had with them.”
Dragoo will join the team for the upcoming Pro National Championships followed by Boise Twilight, UCI stage race Cascade Classic and the inaugural Colorado Classic.
“Allie is a huge asset to the program, both with her work ethic to training and racing experience. She has plans to work hard for her team for the remaining races this season. I appreciate that Thomas Campana gave her the opportunity to race in Europe and am very grateful to him and his Bigla program for her growth personally and as an athlete. We are excited to welcome her back for the remainder of 2017 and 2018 season,” said Cranmer.
Up next for the team are U.S and Canadian professional road and time trial championships, followed by Boise Twilight and UCI stage race Cascade Classic.