Posted by Editoress on 07/20/10
Canadian Track Athletes have been getting their race legs back as they prepare for the National Championships in Bromont, Quebec, at the end of August. The endurance men have been calling Burnaby home since the end of June, where they have been pushing each other to get fitter, stronger, and faster. They traveled to Portland, Oregon this past weekend to compete in the Alpenrose Challenge
"After three hard weeks of training on the track in Burnaby I was feeling ready for the Alpenrose Challenge and I was excited about seeing the improvements I had make," commented Rémi Pelletier-Roy of Longueuil, Quebec.
As a strong all around rider, Pelletier-Roy competed in a variety of events, from the sprints, to the bunch races, and even the Team Sprint with endurance riders Mark MacDonald (Calgary, Alberta) and Jacob Schwingboth (Surrey, BC) who rode to a third place finish. The strongest race for the Canadians was the 10 mile Scratch Race where they competed as a team to finish with Schwingboth in second, MacDonald in fourth and, after being in a long breakaway, Pelletier-Roy finished 12th. Schwingboth was happy with his results, "I started the racing off a bit sore from the camp, but my legs turned around for the Scratch race and the points race. I placed second twice in these races to two-time Olympian Jamie Carney. It was such a fun race."
Sprinters Travis Smith and Monique Sullivan, both from Calgary, Alberta, were also in Portland. Smith, who is based in California, teamed up with two of his American training partners to post the second fastest Team Sprint time, 0.1 seconds behind a new track record. He went on to post the fastest flying lap and won silver in the Sprints. Sullivan really ripped up the track and once again set personal bests, including a new track record of 16.94 in the flying lap as well as breaking Olympic Gold Medalist Lori-Anne Muenzer's record from 2001 in the 500 metre for the Alpenrose track with a time of 37.33. She also posted the fastest 200 metre time before finishing third in the sprints and rode away with a second place in the Keirin. Full results from the weekend of racing may be found at www.obra.org
Smith and Sullivan will join the rest of the Canadian Sprinters who are on the East Coast in Trexlertown and have been training outside in the sun this past week when it hasn't been storming. "There seems to be a theme to the weather in Trexlertown, hot," commented Jamie Russell (Sudbury, Ontario). "I recorded an average of 40 C during our flying 100's on Thursday. The workout was our first as a team since we arrived. There was a sense of excitement for the racing and training to come as more and more international riders arrived throughout the day. There are teams and athletes from New Zealand, Netherlands, Australia, Poland, South America, South Africa, USA and of course Canada!
The athletes raced in their first of three Friday races this past weekend called the Golden Wheel competition. Karine Cote, of St. Constant, Quebec, jumped right in to the endurance heavy schedule and surprised herself with some decent results. "I did the elimination race and am very happy because I don"t race very often with a lot of strong women and I was able to stay in the middle of the pack and try some strategy that I can use in the Keirin."
The men had very hectic 3 kilometre scratch heats, which Stephane Cossette (Sherbrook, Quebec) managed to find his way through, but had a mechanical in the standing start of the final. Scott Mulder (Vancouver, BC), who will be competing at the Junior World Championships in August, hung back in the early races so as not to risk too much and then had a great race in the last short scratch race of the evening. He won the field sprint and nearly caught the breakaway after having come around New Zealand sprinter Eddie Dawkins. Russell was the lone Canadian starter in the 10 mile scratch which was animated and kept at a nearly unbearable pace by a young Kiwi enduro team.
The endurance men will once again travel south of the border this upcoming weekend for the FSA Grand Prix presented by Nuun in Redmond, Washington. The sprinters will take part in the Keirin Cup XXV at the Valley Preferred Velodrome.
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