On Thursday, Canadian riders took two podium spots—and set a world record in the process—at the Pan Am track championships in Aguascalientes, Mexico. That record was set by Stefan Ritter of Edmonton, competing in the 1,000-m junior time trial.
Ritter, the 2016 junior kilo world champion, took bronze among an elite-aged field, with a time of 1:00.578 that put him just 1.443 seconds behind Colombia’s Santiago Ramirez, the day’s gold-medal winner. It was a significant achievement, considering the role of the Pan Am Championships—a continental-level event—as a decisive staging ground for determining starting positions at the world championships.
That consideration made the performance of the Canadian women’s squad, brought in as a development team, even more impressive.
The team of Jasmin Glaesser, Ariane Bonhomme, Kinley Gibson and Jamie Gilgen followed up on their first-place qualifying ride with by catching Mexico to take the gold with a time of 4:21.741. “We’ve made a lot of progress over the last year,” Gibson, one of the squad’s development riders, said after the dust had settled, “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.”
Glaesser, the only member of the Olympic-bronze winning team pursuit squad in Rio in Aguascalientes, spoke of being impressed by her fellow athletes’ performances.
“This is my first race with the development girls,” Glaesser said, “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.” The squad also competed in the scratch race, an event that culminated in a bunch sprint earning Glaesser a fifth-place finish and a ninth-place finish for Gilgen.
The Pan Am Championships conclude on Sunday, Oct. 9.