Canada added two more medals to its tally on the second day of competition at the 2016 Pan Am Track Championships in Aguascalientes, Mexico, winning gold and bronze on Thursday, with Stefan Ritter of Edmonton setting a Junior world record in the 1000 metre time trial. The Pan Am Championships are the continental championships, and provide valuable points for obtaining starting positions at the world championships.
The Canadian Women’s Team Pursuit squad is one of the best in the world, coming off a bronze medal at the Rio Olympics, but for Aguascalientes Canada brought a development squad, with only one member of the bronze medal squad participating, Jasmin Glaesser (Coquitlam, BC). First in qualifying, the Canadian squad of Glaesser, Ariane Bonhomme (Gatineau, QC), Kinley Gibson (Edmonton, AB) and Jamie Gilgen (Dundas, ON), caught Mexico in the gold medal final on the finish line to win the Pan Am title. The Canadian team’s time was four minutes and 21.741 seconds.
Kinley Gibson, one of the development riders on the team, said “We’ve made a lot of progress over the last year, and it shows here. We have done a lot of training but not too much racing as a team, so it was fun to come to a fast track and see what we could do, and we had a really good ride.”
“This is my first race with the [development] girls,” said Glaesser, “and I was super impressed. I knew they were strong, but to come here and ride a 4:21 is pretty fantastic, and I’m excited to see where this group is going.”
Stefan Ritter, the Junior world champion in the 1000 metre time trial, finished third among Elite-aged riders, setting a new world record for his age category in the process. His time of one minute and 0.578 seconds took the bronze medal, and was 1.443 seconds behind gold medal winner Santiago Ramirez of Colombia.
Canadian women also competed in the Scratch Race, which came down to a bunch sprint, with Glaesser finishing fifth and Gilgen ninth.
The Pan Am Championships continue through Sunday.
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