It was another brilliant day for the Canadian track cyclists competing at the UCI Track World Cup in Hong Kong, China, as Canada earned two medals.
Canada’s Women’s Team Pursuit squad, ranked #1 in the World Cup standings entering this final World Cup of the season, took the gold medal to secure the coveted White Jersey as World Cup Champions.
The team faced off against the United States in the first round and won the race by over three seconds. In the gold medal race versus the defending Olympic Champions Great Britain, Canada rode away to its second victory in three races thus far this season.
All six of Canada’s team pursuit athletes had the chance to compete throughout the three rounds of racing. In the gold medal race, Team Canada was represented by Jasmin Glaesser, Stephanie Roorda, Laura Brown and Georgia Simmerling.
“We accomplished what we came here for, which was to get on the podium and try our riders in different positions in the lineup to develop them for different roles in the future. To get the win and the World Cup overall was a bonus. It was a great collective effort from the riders and bodes very well for the future,” said Craig Griffin, Canada’s women endurance coach.
Canada also won the World Cup title in 2014.
In the men’s keirin, Hugo Barrette raced his way to the silver medal, taking his career-first World Cup medal. For Barrette, the feat is remarkable considering he suffered multiple injuries in October as a result of a devastating crash in training. The result today has a significant importance in his chances to qualify Canada in the men’s sprint events for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
Barrette won both of his first two rounds to advance to the gold medal race.
“I wanted to make a comeback for the World Championships. Erin designed a plan to get me back on the track and meet that goal. I expected to be in this kind of shape in time for the Worlds, but it happened sooner. This is a good outlook for the future,” said Barrette, moments after his silver medal performance. “A big thank you to Erin [Hartwell] - he planned everything to bring me back at full strength. I believed in myself but most importantly, he believed in me, and this is a testament of how good he is as a coach.”
The Canadian Women’s Team Sprint squad was also racing for a medal tonight, facing Spain in the bronze medal ride. Canada lost its race and finished in fourth place. Monique Sullivan and Kate O’Brien also raced in the individual sprint event, and both Sullivan and O’Brien qualified for the second round.
Unfortunately, the two faced each other in the opening round, and it was O’Brien who won the all-Canadian duel to advance to the second round. O’Brien lost her race and moved to the repechage where she was ultimately eliminated. Ultimately O’Brien took the 10th spot in the standings - her career best result in the individual event.
Story and photo from Cycling Canada | Cycling.ca