Posted by Editoress on 03/3/14
The 2014 Track Worlds concluded Sunday in Cali, Colombia, with one Canadian in action - Laura Brown in the Women's Omnium. Brown came into the second day of competition for this event in seventh place, tied on points with the riders in sixth and eighth.
The day started strongly for Brown with a fourth place in the Individual Pursuit, which moved her up to sixth, and only two points out of fifth. However, as often happens in the Omnium, one slip can knock a rider back down he rankings, at that is what happened to Brown in the Scratch Race, where she finished 15th.
Brown rode aggressively in the Scratch, making a number of attacks and hoping to spark a small group to lap the field (which the eventual winner, Xiao Juan Diao of Hong Kong did), however, she was unsuccessful and finished back in the bunch for the sprint, dropping her to eighth. The final event, the 500 metre time trial did not change her position.
This was the first time Brown had competed in the Omnium at this level, so it was a learning experience - see our interview with Laura Brown Here.
Overall, it was, as a number of riders said, a 'bittersweet' Worlds for the Canadian team. Canada won two medals - eighth in the nation standings - with a silver in the Team Pursuit and Bronze by Jasmin Glaesser in the Points Race. The Team Pursuit squad had a breakthrough performance with the silver medal, leading the usually dominant British team for over 3000 metres before losing by just over a second.
In the past, this would have been a cause for celebration, but this team now knows that it can challenge the Brits for the title, so there was some disappointment. This is a good thing; the riders are not satisfied anymore with just making the podium, now they want the jersey.
High Performance Director Jacques Landry commented: " All in all, these track worlds were a success for Canada, with a silver in the WTP and a bronze won by Jasmin Glaesser. It is without a doubt that our women's endurance program is healthy and growing. Under Craig Griffin's leadership, and with a strong support staff behind him, the team was able to give the British a run for their money with a team comprised of only one rider (Jasmin) having ridden to Olympic Bronze two years ago. On Hugo Barrette's side, while he slightly under-performed it is evident that once we get into Milton progression, both our sprint and endurance programs will accelerate. With great coaching, a world class facility and excellent support team and a Canada-wide alignment of our systems, this is a great time to be a high performance track cyclist; as the top step of the podium is well within our reach!"
We also talked to the riders about the fact that when the Track season for 2014-15 begins, they will have a base in Canada to work out of: the new Milton velodrome. This met with enthusiastic response from all athletes, with most commenting that they are confident it will lead to further improvements and greater depth to the team.