Posted by Editoress on 01/20/18
Canada had a strong showing on Saturday at Round 5 of the UCI Track World Cup in Minsk, Belarus, with athletes winning silver and bronze medals. Stefan Ritter of Edmonton, Alberta, won the silver medal in the Men's Keirin, while the NextGen women's Team Pursuit squad took bronze. Devaney Collier of Edmonton also competed in the four event women's Omnium, finishing 14th overall.
Women's Team Pursuit Squad
For Ritter, a former Junior world champion (Kilo), the podium result came after a long recovery from a crash in 2017 that kept him out of competition for the earlier part of the 2017-2018 World Cup season. Ritter had to go through the 'second chance' repechage race to qualify for the semi-finals, but won his semi-final race to make it into the medal final, where six riders competed for the medals. In the Final, Ritter finished second to Matthijs Buchli of the Netherlands.
"Overall I'm really happy with how today went," said Ritter. "I couldn't have asked for more, to be honest. Considering this is the first time I've raced the Keirin at a World Cup, I'm really happy with silver. Except for the first ride, all my rides went really well tactically, I feel like I made good decisions."
The NextGen team of Erin Attwell (Victoria, BC), Maggie Coles-Lyster (Maple Ridge, BC), Devaney Collier (Edmonton, Alberta), and Laurie Jussaume (Contrecoeur, Quebec) qualified third on Friday in the 4000 metre event and set the third fastest time again on Saturday morning to make it into the bronze medal race against France. Canada was leading France after the halfway mark when the French team crashed out of competition. The United States won the gold medal ahead of Italy.
"We started out really smooth," said Attwell, " and the plan was to focus on the technical aspects of our ride; executing well, staying on the black line and communicating. We did a really good job of working together as a team. It's the first time that we have executed everything perfectly; we had such a smooth ride for all three [races], and every ride got better technically and we got faster in every ride. It's exciting for the future."
Jacques Landry Chief, Technical Officer - Head Coach for Cycling Canada, and Project Manager in Minsk, commented: "Today was a good day for the team. Our NextGen TP squad rode three great rides, on schedule, every time. The strategy was easy for them - it was to focus on their own race, communicate and strive for flawless execution. They met the strategic goals which led to a bronze medal; a bronze medal that may not have happened without the great preparation from NextGen coach, Jenny Trew, along with on-point in the field input from our physiologist, Emily Wood."
"To cap off the day, Stefan rode a great Final which could have yielded a gold. Though his qualifier could have been better, with his legs firing on all cylinders, he rode a great repechage to put him back into the running. The Sprint competition tomorrow should be very interesting."
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