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Canada’s Dylan Bibic is the new world champion in the scratch race

Seventh for Canadian women's team pursuit squad

Dylan Bibic lit up Thursday’s second day of action at the 2022 UCI Track Cycling World Championships in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, France, winning the first men’s scratch race Canada had been in since 2010. It was 19-year-old from Mississauga’s first elite track world championships. The women’s team pursuit squad achieved seventh. All three of the Canadians in the women’s individual sprint qualified for the 1/16 final but none got past the 1/8 final.

You can watch the 2022 UCI Track Cycling World Championships at FloBikes.

The day started with men’s keirin Round 1 where Canadian James Hedgcock placed fifth in Heat 5. This allowed him to try to advance through the repechage, but there, in Heat 3, he could only come third.

Sarah Orban, Lauriane Genest and Kelsey Mitchell were all in the women’s individual sprint. In qualifying, Genest was the fastest of the Canadians, posting the eighth best time. Mitchell was twelfth and Orban 17th.

Genest in last November’s round of the UCI Track Cycling Champions League.

In the women’s sprint 1/16 final, Genest was pitted against Mexicon’s Yuli Verdugo Osuna, Mitchell against Pole Nikola Sibiak and Orban against Japan’s Riyu Ohta. Mitchell and Genest dispatched their competition.

The 1/8 final matched Mitchell with German Pauline Sophie Grabosch and Genest with Kiwi Ellesse Andrews. Grabosch got the better of Mitchell by 0.096 seconds, while Andrews was 0.084 seconds faster than Genest. Orban still has the keirin in France, while Mitchell and Genest have yet to contest the keirin and time trial.

The Canadian women’s team pursuit outfit was fifth last year in Roubaix, France. They went into Round 1 thrown up against the Netherlands. Erin Atwell, Maggie Coles-Lyster, Sarah van Dam and Ruby West, 3/4 of last year’s lineup, was leading after the first kilometre, but found themselves behind after 2000 metres. In the end, the Dutch were a minute faster. Canada didn’t post a time fast enough to vie for bronze and finished seventh overall.

Ruby West leads Canada versus the Netherlands on Thursday.

Sarah van Dam took on the women’s elimination race, the Race of the Dreaded Blinking Light. She was situated at the blue band. The 23 riders had to start twice. The Nigerian was the first to be eliminated. A crash after the fourth elimination neutralized the race. Van Dam survived into the final eight before seeing the blinking light.

Sarah van Dam on the blue band before the elimination race.

Team Canada’s final–and best–performance was Dylan Bibic’s in the men’s scratch race. Bibic was the first Canadian in the race since Zach Bell in 2010. Sixty laps of the track equalled 15 km. Bibic followed a move with 10 laps to go. After the move was brought back, the tension increased. Bibic was second wheel when the riders heard the bell. He won by a good margin, holding off Japan’s Kazushige Kuboki for the famous victory.