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VALENCIA SHINES IN USA CYCLING NATIONALS

Matthew Valencia is now a USA cycling national champion.

By Patrick Lujan

Matthew Valencia gets some last-minute advise from former USA Olympian and fellow Guamanian Ken Carpenter in Carson, CA during the USA Jr. Nationals Track Championships. (courtesy photo)

Matthew Valencia gets some last-minute advise from former USA Olympian and fellow Guamanian Ken Carpenter in Carson, CA during the USA Jr. Nationals Track Championships. (courtesy photo)

Matthew Valencia continues to make waves in the USA Cycling circuit.

Valencia was part of the gold medal team that won the Team Pursuit event on the USA Track Cycling National Championships in Carson, CA over the weekend.

The recent high school graduate from Los Altos, CA finished strong after two crashes in earlier events at the VELO Sports Center, a world-class indoor velodrome.

He’s a really tough kid,” said fellow Guamanian Ken Carpenter, who is one of Valencia’s coaches and mentors at Team Specialized. “Not the results he wanted but I’m impressed with him. He crashed twice in one event, picked himself up and got back in the race both times.”

In the team pursuit event, two teams of four start at the opposite sides of the track and cover the distance of 16 laps. The objective is to cover the distance in the fastest time or to catch and overtake the other team in a final.

With the national championship under his belt, Valencia and his team will head to Seoul, South Korea in August for the Junior World Championships.

Matthew, who also finished in sixth place in the omnium event, will now attend college at the University of Hawaii-Manoa.

Matthew Valencia (middle) is a national champion and will head to the world championships with his team to Korea in August. (courtesy photo)

Matthew Valencia (middle) is a national champion and will head to the world championships with his team to Korea in August. (courtesy photo)

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