It was her second victory in the 2023 track championships after taking the Scratch Race last Friday.
“The Omnium is always a special world title, in a way that it feels different from the Scratch Race earlier in the week,” Valente said after celebrating her win.
“I was taking each race one step at a time and definitely the first three events riding my own race. I was focusing on riding the best race possible and not worrying about what anyone else was doing and putting it all together at the end.”
The 28-year-old waited patiently in the first event of the Omnium, the Scratch Race, as New Zealand’s Ally Wollaston lapped the field, knowing the effort to chase two extra points was not worth it in a schedule compressed into just three hours.
Then in the Tempo Race, after France’s Valentine Fortin attacked solo to sweep up the early points and lap the field Valente duplicated the feat and gained enough points to seal the top spot.
The one place where Valente showed some nerves was in the crash-plagued Elimination Race but she sailed through to the final four before Belgian Lotte Kopecky attacked and Valente cruised to second place, heading into the final Points Race with a lead of 20 points in the standings.
“In that race I was really happy I didn’t hit the deck – a lot of people went down. Again, it was paying attention to what was happening in the race, when it was neutral and when they were actually pulling someone. I think we went neutral three times in a row.”
Crashes continued in the Points Race but Valente managed to avoid them again and fend off all of her challengers.
After a handful of riders lapped the field, Valente surged away to take the lap back, then marked all the remaining moves, only getting involved in the eight sprints when she needed to keep rivals like Wollaston, second-placed Amalie Dideriksen (Denmark) or bronze medalist Lotte Kopecky (Belgium) in check.
“It was a very aggressive race, and a lot of people trying to go for laps. I was really trying to keep my eyes open and try to understand what was happening in the race at every moment,” Valente told Cyclingnews.
Without the usual break between the Scratch Race and the rest of the programme, riders had to choose when to spend their energy, and Valente’s well-metred riding paid off in gold.