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August 9/09 10:40 am - Canadian Records Smashed at Pan American Track Cycling Championships

Posted by Editor on 08/9/09

Report courtesy CCA

Canada sent a strong 14 member team to compete in the Pan American Track Cycling Championships (July 26-30), setting five Canadian records. The squad was motivated and ready to compete in what was the first international track championships for many of the riders.


Day One

Team Canada was off to a strong start with Tara Whitten (Edmonton, AB) setting a new Canadian and Pan American Record in the women’s individual pursuit. Whitten’s qualifying time of 3:32 seeded her in the gold medal round where she lapped her opponent and took home top honours.

The men’s team sprint of Lawrence Leroux (Oka, Quebec), Joe Veloce (Fonthill, ON) and Stephane Cossette (Chicoutimi, Que) had a fast start to the championships setting a new Canadian Record of 46.214 and taking home a silver medal.

Monique Sullivan (Calgary, AB) represented Canada in the women’s sprints with a 4th place finish, while David Boily (Quebec) and Jean-Michel Lachance (Massicotte, Que) placed 9th and 14th respectively in the men’s points race.

Day Two

Tara Whitten and Monique Sullivan combined their power and speed to win the Silver medal in the Team Sprint with a time of 25.971. The 500 metre event saw the team from Colombia just edge out the Canadian duo for gold.

In the women’s team pursuit final for Bronze, Whitten partnered with Laurie Anne Dupont-Renaud (Montreal, Que) and Laura Brown (Victoria, BC) to dominate the host country Mexico in the finals. The three riders worked together and had to bounce back from a false start and a cautious opening kilo to win by over five seconds and set a new Canadian Record of 3:31.471.

The men competed in the 15 kilometer Scratch race. David Boily and Steve Meyer (Dorchester, ON) represented the Maple Leaf with flying colours. In the end Boily finished in a photo finish for fifth position with Meyer 1.3 seconds behind in 14th.

In the individual pursuit Jean-Michel Lachance and Matt Potma (Coquitlam, BC) had good rides during their four kilometre race, finishing seventh and ninth respectively.

The big boys came out to play in the men’s Keirin. Joe Veloce and Stephane Cossette battled the fastest riders at the Championships. In the first round both riders held position and initiated their heat races, Cossette moving to the Semi’s and Veloce getting pipped at the line by the eventual winner from Colombia. In the repechage (second chance), Veloce was in against two riders from Chile, who managed to attack over the top to gain the upper hand. In the final turn with only the winner moving to the semi final, one of the Chilean riders hooked Veloce and was disqualified, allowing Veloce to advance. In the finals, Cossette was able to attack over his opponents and finish a very respectable seventh, unfortunately, Veloce was disqualified in the final 50 metres.

Day Three

Travis Smith (Calgary, AB) competed in the kilometer time trial during day three of the Championships and set a new Canadian Record of 1:01.9 to take home the bronze medal, while Cossette finished seventh with a time of 1:03.8.

The men’s team pursuit team of Daniele Defranceschi (Windsor, ON), Mark MacDonald (Calgary, AB), Jean-Michel Lachance, and Matt Potma spent the days leading up to the championships practicing their start, timing and exchanges. This was the first time that the team raced together and, like the women, set a new Canadian Record of 4:19 to place sixth. The team is motivated to improve as the international racing season heats up.

Laura Brown and Laurie Anne Dupont-Renaud (Montreal, Que) started the scratch race and gained valuable racing experience. Brown finished eighth, while Dupont-Renaud received a DNF.

Day Four

Tara Whitten, the reigning World Silver Medalist in the Omnium, continued to add medals to her growing collection by winning the women’s Omnium. She then joined forces with Monique Sullivan to finish second in the Team Sprint with a time of 35.971.

Mark MacDonald and Daniele Defranceschi, who first teamed up to compete in Madison races earlier this summer in Italy, finished a respectable sixth in the fast and intense 50 kilometre race.

Canada had a strong start in the men’s 200 metre sprint qualifications. Out of 31 entries, Canada placed three racers in the first nine, all with personal best times. Travis Smith took second place with a time of 9.9 seconds, Joe Veloce took sixth place with a 10.2 seconds, and Lawrence Leroux took ninth place with a 10.3 .I

n the subsequent match sprint tournament, Smith and Veloce advanced, winning their first and second round. Leroux, who is coming back from a two year sabbatical, narrowly lost his first round match to a Cuban opponent and finished second out of three in his repechage.

Day Five

Smith and Veloce continued to race strong in the sprint rounds and finished second and seventh respectively while Mark MacDonald, after a long week of racing, represented Canada in the Omnium with a seventh place finish.

The women wrapped up the championships with Monique Sullivan finishing sixth in the Keirin, Laura Brown placing 15th in the points race, and Tara Whitten, who continued to dominate, riding away with a bronze medal in the Points race.

Canada has had a strong start to the 2009/10 track season and the squad is motivated to improve on their performances. In the end, Canada finished third as a nation with 11 medals (3-4-4), behind Colombia who won 22 (10-8-4), and Cuba with 12 (7-2-3).


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