Canada opened the cycling events at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games on Thursday with two bronze medals in both the men’s and women’s Team Pursuit at the Anna Meares velodrome in Brisbane. The Team Sprint competitions were also held.
The women’s Team Pursuit is a new event for the Commonwealth Games, and Canada came in as a definite medal contender after multiple World Cup and world championship medals, plus bronze at the last two Olympic Games.
The team of Allison Beveridge, Ariane Bonhomme, Annie Foreman-Mackey and Steph Roorda were disappointed to miss qualifying for the gold medal final by 0.153 seconds, but regrouped to take the bronze medal against England, with a time of 4:21.493. Host Australia won the gold medal after catching New Zealand and setting a new Games record.
“We were definitely more satisfied with our second ride,” said Roorda. “The goal was to win the bronze medal, and we reassessed and improved on some stuff from the first ride, which was positive. It’s pretty great to get the first cycling medal.”
Canada came into the men’s Team Pursuit having finished fourth at the 2014 Games in Glasgow, and were looking to improve. The team of Michael Foley, Derek Gee, Adam Jamieson and Jay Lamoureux originally qualified fourth, but moved up to third after New Zealand was disqualified for having non-regulated equipment. In the bronze medal race against Wales, the Canadian team replaced Jamieson with Aidan Caves, and recorded a time of 4:00.440. Australia took the gold medal in a world record time, defeating England.
“One spot better than four years ago and 13 seconds faster, so everyone’s really excited about that,” said Gee. “It’s just unreal to be a medalist at the Commonwealth Games.”
Caves, the only rider returning from the 2014 team, said “It feels amazing. We got pretty lucky that the Kiwis had an unfortunate disqualification. In the final, we basically just rode our first schedule but a little faster. Third feels amazing; to come back four years later with a new group of guys is incredible.”
In the women’s Team Sprint, the Canadian duo of Amelia Walsh and Lauriane Genest recorded the fourth fastest time, but were subsequently disqualified for exchanging outside of the regulated zone, and did not advance to the medal round. Australia won the gold medal ahead of New Zealand.
“I kind of knew when Lauriane came past me that we would probably get relegated,” admitted Walsh. “I’m very impressed with our time, regardless of the relegation and it’s very encouraging for the future. I’m really looking forward to training and competing more with Lauriane.”
The schedule concluded with the men’s Team Sprint, where the squad of Hugo Barrette, Stefan Ritter and Patrice St-Louis Pivin qualified for the bronze medal final. The team lost to Australia in the medal race, to finish fourth. New Zealand beat England for the gold medal.
“For the second ride we made a choice to go up a gear and unfortunately it didn’t pan out the way we hoped it would,” explained Ritter. “We know it doesn’t work now, and that the gear I used in Round 1 was a solid ride. This is a whole new ballgame, the crowd is absolutely brilliant, and just to perform at this level, on this stage, is an honour.”
Source: Cycling Canada
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.