Canadian men’s team pursuit squad sets national record on the way to silver

Team Canada also won four World Cup medals in Los Angeles in February

December 3rd, 2017 by | Posted in News, Spotlight |

A crash in the final kilometre scuppered Canada’s chance at a World Cup gold medal in the men’s team pursuit on Sunday’s final day of competition at the Mattamy Cycling Centre Milton, Ontario. However, Team Canada earned its fourth medal of the third round, another silver, in that contest. Hugo Barrette took a fourth place in the individual sprint, as did Stephanie Roorda and Jasmin Duehring in the women’s madison. Two 10th spots went to Aiden Caves in the omnium and Amelia Walsh in the keirin.

Having qualified for round one with the second fastest team on Friday, the Canadian men’s team pursuit outfit, winners of World Cup gold and bronze last season, matched up against the U.S.A., who it beat by over five-seconds, setting a new national record of 3:58.359. This put Derek Gee, Michael Foley, Adam Jamieson and Jay Lamoureux in the gold medal match with top qualifiers New Zealand. The Canuck-Kiwi scrap in the women’s team pursuit final on Saturday would be mirrored Sunday afternoon.

In the gold medal match Canada was up by 0.6 seconds after the first kilometre and 1.2 seconds after two kilometres. The Kiwis narrowed the gap over the next kilometre, before Foley crashed in the final kilometre. It was three on four for the final three laps and the Canadians couldn’t hold on.

Jamieson talked to Canadian Cycling about the new men’s team pursuit record and the gold medal crash, “The Canadian record was pretty exciting. We’re on pace to break 3:58. That’s huge. That’s looking so good for our build up for the Olympics. I was coming around the corner…and I dipped down just a little too far and I pedaled over one of the foamies and it jogged my back wheel up the track. And my elbow came up and I decelerated a little bit and Foley ran into the back of me. But leaving this anything but positive is a mistake. We have depth now. I’m excited about the future of this team.”

The day began with men’s individual sprint qualifying. Hugo Barrette, who took sixth in Saturday’s keirin, was one of 26 riders to race a flying start 200-metres, setting a time of 9.873 to place seventh. This put him in the 1/16 finals with Malaysian Muhamad Rasol of the Sime Darby Foundation team, who Barrette beat by 0.289 seconds.

Hugo Barrette advances with a win over Malaysian Rasol.
The next rider Barrette encountered was Andrii Vynokurov, the Canadian dispatching the Ukrainian by 0.066 on his way to the quarterfinals to meet Suriname’s Jair Tjon En Fa. Once the sprinters get into the quarters, it’s the best out of three sprints–Barrette took Race 1 after which Tjon En Fa evened the score. Just before the day’s recess, Barrette prevailed in the rubber match.

In the semi-final, Barrette clipped New Zealand’s Ethan Mitchell in the first race. There was a delay before the second race as track staff fixed the boards from Foley’s crash. Barrette led out Mitchell in the second contest, but the Kiwi had his measure. Mitchell then powered by Barrette in the rubber match’s final 50-metres. In the other semi-final Dutchman Jeffrey Hoogland took Brit Jack Carlin two straight.

So it was Barrette and Carlin vying for the bronze. The first cat-and-mouse led to Barrette pulling up short when the acceleration began. Barrette made the second race closer but Carlin prevailed.

Stephanie Roorda and points race silver medalist Jasmin Duehring took on the 30-km of the women’s madison hand-slinging. They took 3-points in the first sprint and five points on Sprint 3 had them in second place, but the duo fell behind Great Britain, France and New Zealand. Canada’s only chance to medal was to scoop double points on the final sprint, but Roorda and Duehring could only come 3-points within the Kiwis for the last podium spot.

Early last month Aiden Caves was Canada’s sole representative in the Manchester, England second round of the World Cup, where he placed 19th in the omnium. With Allison Beveridge’s omnium silver still on everyone’s lips, Caves set off on his men’s omnium adventure. Manchester gold winner Benjamin Thomas of France wasn’t one of Caves’ competitor, but Pruszków, Poland winner Niklas Larsen (Denmark), who carried off the men’s points title on Friday night, was.

Caves placed 13th in the first event, the scratch race.

Aiden Caves in the omnium scratch race.
The tempo race is similar to the points race, except that the sprints are every lap and the points are scored two deep. Taking place over 10-km, three riders managed to lap the rest, while Caves’ two points was enough to get him eighth place. He was 12th midway through the event.

Caves was the second rider removed from the boards in the elimination race. A bold, effective move in the points race saw Caves take a lap on the field to grab 20-points, moving him up to 11th overall. Another 20-points in the tail end of the race gave him 10th. He raised the roof by winning the final sprint.

Amelia Walsh was perhaps the busiest Canadian at Milton this weekend, racing three events. Her women’s keirin began with qualifying in Heat 3, and her sixth place out of seven riders saw her into the repechage round. In repechage Heat 1, Walsh squeaked into the second round.

A heavy crash in Walsh’s second round heat caused the officials to stop the race and paramedics to attend to a Chinese rider from the Holy Brothers squad. After a 20-minute delay four of the six original contestants started over and Walsh earned a spot in the 7th to 12th place race. Walsh’s final placing was 10th.

Round 4 of the World Cup is in Santiago, Chile next weekend.