Posted by Editoress on 01/25/10
Day 3 Report
The Canadian team competing at the fourth and final World Cup in Beijing, China finished on the podium in their final event of the competition, but it was the sprinters who got things started.
Joseph Veloce (ON) and Stephane Cossette (QUE) began the day with the flying 200 meter race in a bid to qualify for the sprint competition. Both riders are new to the World Cup scene and were excited to be racing on the smooth Olympic track; however, they felt they could have ridden better, improved their approach, and gone faster. They finished in 24th and 27th position with times of 10.674 and 10.698 respectively. The fastest time posted was a 10.183. Both riders will be returning to Los Angeles in February to prepare for Worlds with teammate Travis Smith for the Team Sprint.
Monique Sullivan (AB) started strong in the first round of the Keirin, sitting in third place behind the bike. She was aggressive and moved to the front with two laps to go with a strong acceleration and held on until half a lap to go, when the group came around and she finished sixth in the heat moving on to the repechage. She made winning the repechage look easy and moved on to the semifinal where she was overpowered and finished tenth. “I didnt always have the legs to pull off my moves, I was racing smart and always putting myself in a good position. There was a strong field at this World Cup and it was great practice for the World Championships.”
The final event for the Canadians was the women’s team pursuit, with Canada fielding the same team who won gold at the previous World Cup. Tara Whitten, Laura Brown, and Steph Roorda, all from Alberta, had high expectations and felt strong and ready going in to the qualifier. They posted the third fastest time with some mistakes along the way, and then in the bronze medal final they rode like a smooth unit to take off more than three seconds from their first ride, winning the bronze medal while setting a new Canadian Record of 3:26.723.
The Canadian team finished the fourth World Cup with two gold medals and two bronze medals and were ranked seventh overall at this competition. The team focus will now be on preparing for the World Championships in Copenhagen, Denmark from March 24-28.
Event Wrap Up
The Canadian Track Cycling Team is returning home from China and the final World Cup of the season with two gold and two bronze medals. Tara Whitten, of Edmonton, posted the third fastest time in the individual pursuit qualifying. Not happy with her performance she came back fighting in the bronze medal match and took off more than a second from her first ride to win her match in a time of 3:40.365.
Whitten was back in the start gate a few days later with teammates Laura Brown, and Steph Roorda, both from Calgary, for the women’s team pursuit. The same team had won gold at the previous World Cup and had high expectations this time around in Beijing. They felt strong and ready going in to the qualifier and posted the third fastest time with some mistakes along the way. In the bronze medal final they rode like a smooth unit to take off more than three seconds from their first ride and won the bronze medal while setting a new Canadian Record of 3:26.723.
Zach Bell, of Watson Lake, Yukon, finished fourth at the previous World Cup in Cali, Colombia,in the points race and was aiming for the highest step on the podium in Beijing. He won points in three of the sprints, and gained points for lapping the field in the first half of the race. With about 25 laps to go he seized an opportunity to lap the field again and won the race one lap ahead of everyone else.
Bell stood on top of the podium for the second time in two days 24 hours later after the Scratch Race. He rode an aggressive race and felt like “"I was a hostage in a boy scout tent my legs where tied up so bad!” Having only raced in one international scratch race this year, he was sitting 135th in the world ranking and knew he would have to place in the top four in order to qualify for the World Championships at the end of March. He rode a tactically strong race, and powered to the front when needed to rev it up and cross the finish line first.
Head Coach Richard Wooles is impressed with what we are seeing from our team. “We had some great results and are showing progression heading towards the 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games. Our medals, personal bests, and Canadian Records are a direct result of the great work that has and is being done on all fronts, from riders, support staff and everyone involved with track cycling in Canada. Thank you all for being involved and helping our riders so far with what is building for the years ahead in Canadian track cycling. We are stretching our resources as far as we can to best prepare our athletes, but are always on the lookout for more financial and material support.”
The team focus will now be on preparing for the World Championships in Copenhagen, Denmark from March 24-28.
Canadian Results in Beijing:
Men’s Sprint: Joseph Veloce 25th in 10.674; Stephane Cossette 27th in 10.698
Men’s Keirin: Travis Smith 21st
Men’s Team Sprint: Travis Smith, Joseph Veloce and Stephane Cossette 9th in 45.652
Men’s Kilo: Allan Leparskas 1:06.981 (personal best by 1.5 sec)
Men’s Points Race: Zach Bell Gold Medal
Men’s Scratch Race: Zach Bell Gold Medal
Women’s Sprint: Monique Sullivan 18th
Women’s Keirin: Monique Sullivan 10th
Women’s 500: Monique Sullivan 14th in 36.111
Women’s Scratch Race: Stephanie Roorda 13th; Laura Brown 16th in Qualifying heats
Women’s Individual Pursuit: Tara Whitten Bronze Medal in 3:40.365
Women’s Points Race: Tara Whitten 8th, Stephanie Roorda 18th
Women’s Team Pursuit: Tara Whitten, Laura Brown, Stephanie Roorda - Bronze Medal and Canadian Record of 3:26.723
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