Canadian women had some strong results on the opening day of the Track World Championships in Hong Kong, with the Women’s Team Sprint squad finishing fifth overall, the Women’s Team Pursuit squad qualifying third and Jasmin Duehring taking sixth in the Women’s Scratch Race.
The Team Sprint duo of Kate O’Brien and Amelia Walsh are having an excellent first season working together, with a silver medal in the final round of the World Cup and now finishing fifth overall at the world championships, missing the medal round by one place. Russia successfully defended their title, beating Australia in the gold medal final, with Germany taking third.
“I’m very pleased,” agreed Erin Hartwell, Sprint Coach. “I was projecting sixth to eighth, with fifth being the best possible we could attain. We came up on Spain to take fifth after qualifying seventh, which was a huge ride for us. Overall, a very solid night for the girls.”
In the 10 kilometre Scratch Race, Duehring was part of an initial three rider break that grew to six before lapping the field. Duehring immediately attacked again, but was brought back with three laps to go. Italy’s Rachele Barbieri won the field sprint to take the medal, with Elinor Barker of Great Britain and Jolien D’Hoore of Belgium completing the podium.
“This year’s been a little different in preparation, so I didn’t really know what to expect,” explained Duehring. “The Scratch Race is one of those races that can go any which way. I’m happy that I read the race right and made the move to take the lap, but unfortunately, the others in the break were pretty strong sprinters and we got the field so late in the race that there wasn’t an opportunity to make a move.”
In the Women’s Team Pursuit qualification round, the Canadian squad of Laura Brown, Jasmin Duehring, Annie Foreman-Mackey and Steph Roorda set the third fastest time, behind the United States and Australia. Canada will race Australia on Thursday, with the winner going to the gold medal final.
“I was satisfied with how we performed today,” said Craig Griffin, Women’s Track Endurance Coach. “There were a couple of errors in the middle of the ride. We can clear those mistakes up and have some more time up our sleeves. We’ll make some changes and we got five good riders we can rotate through for the next round, so we can have a good race against Australia tomorrow and hopefully move through to the gold medal race.”
Canadian men also competed on Wednesday in the Team Pursuit and the Team Sprint. The Team Sprint squad of Hugo Barrette, Stefan Ritter and Patrice St-Louis Pivin finished 15th, with New Zealand successfully defending their title. The Team Pursuit squad of Aidan Caves, Adam Jamieson, Jay Lamoureux and Bayley Simpson suffered a bad crash with two laps remaining and did not finish the race. Unfortunately, Caves suffered a broken collarbone in the crash and will not be able to compete in the Men’s Omnium on Saturday.
“It was a tough afternoon for the team,” admitted Ian Melvin, Men’s Track Endurance Coach. “We had great preparation coming into these world championships; and the boys are in the form of their life. It was a tough day and we never really seemed to get things going. The Kiwis [who Canada was racing against in qualifying] were on a blistering pace and as they caught us, a rider was clipped by our first rider, and the whole group hit the floor. We’ve got to take today out of the equation because it’s been a fantastic year for the team, including a World Cup win. We know we are going in the right direction, today is just one of those humbling days that come around once in a while.”
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About Cycling Canada
Cycling Canada is the governing body for competitive cycling in Canada. Founded in 1882, Cycling Canada aims to create and sustain an effective system that develops talented Canadian cyclists to achieve Olympic, Paralympic, and World Championship medal performances. With the vision of being a leading competitive cycling nation by 2020 celebrating enhanced international success, increased national participation and world class event hosting, Cycling Canada manages the High Performance team, hosts national and international events and administers programs to promote and grow cycling across the country. Cycling Canada programs are made possible through the support of its valued corporate partners – Global Relay, Lexus Canada, Mattamy Homes, Louis Garneau and Bear Mountain Resort – along with the Government of Canada, Own The Podium, the Canadian Olympic Committee and the Canadian Paralympic Committee.