Posted by Editoress on 12/3/17
Team Canada took their second and third medals of the Milton Track World Cup on Saturday, delighting the home crowd. The women's Team Pursuit squad won the gold medal, while Allison Beveridge took silver in the women's Omnium.
Canada came into the Team Pursuit competition as the favourite, and did not disappoint, facing New Zealand in the gold medal final. The Canadian team of Ariane Bonhomme, Kinley Gibson, Annie Foreman-Mackey and Beveridge chased down the New Zealand squad, catching them in the final kilometre of the race, automatically ending the competition. France took the bronze medal. In the earlier first round, Canada had entered Steph Roorda and Kirsti Lay in place of Beveridge and Bonhomme.
"It was so exciting out there," said Gibson, " you could just feel the energy when we went to the line. The whole ride, the crowd was just so loud that we couldn't even hear each other. The energy in the room just drove us forward. To have my first World Cup gold medal in front of a home crowd is just so special."
Less than 30 minutes after anchoring the Team Pursuit squad to gold, Beveridge returned to the track for the fourth and final event in the four-race Omnium. Going into the final Points Race, Beveridge was sitting in second behind Japan's Yumi Kajihara, and four points ahead of Great Britain's Eleanor Dickinson. Kajihara proved to be untouchable, winning her fourth straight race to lock up the gold medal with 154 points, however, Beveridge and Dickinson battled all race for silver, with Beveridge holding on to win the silver medal by a slim two points.
"I knew coming into today that I might have to race both the Team Pursuit and the Omnium," said Beveridge, " but I didn't realize quite how close together they were in the schedule. It was a busy day, but a good day overall. My legs were pretty tired going into the final race; I wanted to give it a go against the Japanese girl, but I realized that I had to defend second. My legs were definitely hurting at the end of that one. I'm a bit disappointed that I couldn't do double gold, because standing on top of the podium and singing your own anthem at home is pretty special. So, the Team Pursuit gold is definitely a highlight."
In the men's Keirin, Hugo Barrette made it to the final after winning the first round and finishing third in the second round. Barrette tried to come over the top from the back in the final, but couldn't quite manage it, finishing sixth. Harrie Lavreysen gave the Netherlands their first gold medal, as he rode away from Lewis Oliva (Team Wales) and Joachim Eilers (Germany).
"I definitely had good legs, but I went a little bit too late," admitted Barrette. "Usually I'm on top of it, but the last three months I haven't been racing, so I think it cost me a good result today. I had the legs, which I showed in my first round, now I just need to align things so that I can be the fastest at any point."
Canada's lone entry in the women's Sprint competition, Amelia Walsh, qualified 14th, but was knocked out after the first round, her first time in this event at the World Cup level.
Franck Durivaux, the national sprint coach, commented, "I have good feelings about Amelia's ride, because she beat her personal best [in qualifying] by 0.4 seconds, which is amazing for her. I think this will give her some confidence. She made mistakes in the match sprint, but that is normal and we will work on it."
Kristina Vogel of Germany continues to dominate the women's sprint events, decisively winning the Sprint competition ahead of Dutch riders Shanne Braspennincx and Laurine van Riessen, giving her three wins in three rounds for the Sprint, and a total of seven wins when the Team Sprint and Keirin are included.
The men's medal competition began with the Team Sprint, won by reigning world champions New Zealand in a close final against Great Britain, with the Czech Republic beating France for bronze.
The final event of the evening was the men's Madison, with the Belgium duo of Kenny de Ketele and Lindsay de Vylder scoring in all but two intermediate sprints to take the win ahead of New Zealand and Great Britain.
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