Posted by Editoress on 12/5/11
Canada’s Track Cycling team is continuing to show signs of improvements as it concluded the second of four events on the 2012 UCI Track Cycling World Cup in Cali, Colombia, winning two silver medals in the Omnium.
Defending Omnium World Cup Champions Zach Bell and Tara Whitten were riding in fine form as they opened their World Cup season. Zach Bell, who grew up in Watson Lake, Yukon and now resides in North Vancouver, BC, finished second in the men's Omnium, posting three personal bests in the timed events. In the opening Flying Lap, he posted the second fastest time, a personal best at 13.155 seconds. In the Points race, Bell finished tenth with 20 points, despite crashing. In the Elimination race, Bell placed seventh place to sit in fourth place after the first of two competition days.
On the second day of racing, Bell rolled up his sleeve and went to work. He posted the sixth best time in the individual pursuit with 4:27.686 - also a personal best. He then managed to finish fifth in the Scratch race, and ended the Omnium with a third place in the Individual Pursuit, also posting a personal best of 1:03.805.
“Coming in to the race, I was apprehensive about my condition because it's been over seven months since my last competition on the track. I was pleasantly surprised to have achieved personal bests in all three timed events, considering that we have not focused a lot on the top-end training.” said Zach Bell. “Thanks again for all the support from everyone back home in Canada - from all the back-room staff/people to the great support team I have with me on the road.”
After attending only one of the two World Cup events so far this season, Bell now sits in fifth place on the overall World Cup leader board.
In the women’s Omnium, two-time defending World Champion and current World Cup Champion Tara Whitten of Edmonton also won the silver medal. With her second place, she moves into fourth on the international UCI World Cup standings after her first competition of the season.
Whitten opened up the competition with a third place in the Flying Lap with a time of 14.455 seconds, and then went on to win the Points race, scoring 30 points. She placed second in the Elimination race to solidify her place in the standings after the first day of competition.
Whitten opened up the second day of competition on a high note, winning the Individual Pursuit with a time of 3:30.222, but dropped down in the event ranking with a 14th position in the wide-open Scratch race. With one event to go - the 500m time trial race - Whitten had to come up with a good performance to secure a medal. She took seventh place, posting a time of 36.276 to secure the silver medal.
Other Canadian Results
Racing in the women’s sprint event, Monique Sullivan of Calgary placed tenth in the qualifying round with a time of 11.312 seconds. She went on to win her first elimination race against Korean rider Hyejin Lee to move in the quarterfinals, where she lost to Kristina Voguel of Germany. In the final seeding race of the day to determine fifth through eighth places, Sullivan finished second and took sixth in the overall standings, collecting precious Olympic qualifying points.
The men’s Team Sprint team, comprised of Travis Smith of Calgary, Joseph Veloce of Fonthill, Ontario, and Hugo Barrette of Cap-Aux-Meules, Québec, posted a time of 44.867 seconds, setting a new Canadian record and good enough for the ninth place.
In the men’s Sprint event, Smith posted the fastest Canadian results of 10.214 seconds to qualify with the eighth fastest time. In the opening elimination race, he lost his duel against Polish rider Damian Zielinski and finished the day in 13th place. Teammate Hugo Barrette raced the qualifying round, placing 18th and not moving on to the match sprint competition.
Smith also competed in the men’s Keirin race. In the opening round, he placed second to Trinidad’s Njisane Phillip and went to the Repêchage for a second chance. In the Repêchage round, he also came in second, this time to French rider Francois Pervis to end his day in the Keirin competition.
Young and rising star Jasmin Glaesser of Coquitlam, BC, racing at her second World Cup, placed 13th in the women’s Individual Pursuit, posting a time of 3:44.044. Glaesser also rode in the women’s Scratch race, placing a respectable 15th.
The Canadian track team will now travel back to Los Angeles, California, where they will continue their training for the next two World Cup events and their preparations for the 2012 Olympic Summer Games in London. The next UCI World Cup event will be held January13-15, in Beijing, China.
Report courtesy CCA
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