Posted by Editoress on 01/21/11
The Canadian track team didn’t wait long before showing they were ready at the UCI Track Cycling World Cup in Beijing, China, as the Canadian women's team pursuit squad won the silver medal on the opening day.
The Canadian team, comprised Tara Whitten of Edmonton, AB, Laura Brown of Vancouver, BC and Stephanie Roorda of Vancouver, BC, qualified with the second fastest time of 3:27.606 to advance to the gold medal to race against the powerful New Zealand team, which won the qualifier with a time of 3:26.477.
In the gold medal race, the Canadians were forced to concede the victory to the strong New Zealand team, posting a time of 3:27.238, a 2.176 seconds deficit against their opponents.
"This silver medal is a great accomplishment for us. The competition at the World Cup events is fierce this season with everyone trying to make Olympic qualifications," said Stephanie Roorda. "Our preparation at our LA base after the holidays was one of the most important parts in our success today. This is a great place to go from into our lead up to World Championships in March."
Laura Brown added "Our performance today felt really put together. Now that both Steph [Roorda] and I have moved to LA [where Tara was already located] our team has really dialled in the technical aspects of the team pursuit, as well as getting stronger and faster. The National Team being stationed in LA has been huge to my improvements and success thus far. I have access to a world class training facility, I train with my teammates every day, I am surrounded by other athletes who share a performance driven lifestyle, and I get access to our support team when they come down to LA."
With the silver medal, Canada jumps to third in the rankings in the overall World Cup standing with 23 points, only two points shy of Australia at 25 points. New Zealand, which has won two of the three World Cup events, sits alone atop the standings with 32 points.
"We are in the Olympic qualification period and everything is going as planned. This is the first medal of the 2010-2011 season - and it is surely a cherry on top of a good season so far, and I am so excited to use this momentum for our upcoming training and preparation for the World Championships at the end of March," continued Brown, who won her career third World Cup medal.
The performance is Canada's best ever in the discipline. Prior to this race, the team, led by Head Coach Richard Wooles, finished fourth and fifth in the opening two World Cup events of the 2010-2011 season.
In the men's Omnium, a multi-race event, Zach Bell of North Vancouver, BC, is currently sitting in second place of the overall UCI World Cup standings. Bell won the opening Flying Lap race, and went on to finish fourth in the Points race and sixth in the Elimination, to lead the standings after the first day of competition.
The Canadian men's Team Sprint squad took 11th place, with a time 45.679 seconds in the last lap. The team consists of Joseph Veloce of Fonthill, ON, Stéphane Cossette of Bromont, QC and Travis Smith of Calgary, AB.
The Canadian men's Team Pursuit squad, comprised of Cameron MacKinnon of Dieppe, NB, Jean-Michel Lachance of Québec, QC, Jacob Schwingboth of Surrey, BC and Rémi Pelletier-Roy of Longueuil, QC, finished 13th, stopping the clock at 4:18.464.
Report courtesy CCA
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