by Kevin Mackinnon
Last year Derek Gee took gold in all four of the track events he competed in at the Canadian Track Championships held at the Mattamy National Cycling Centre in Milton—the omnium, individual pursuit, team pursuit and the Madison. This year the 21-year-old was unstoppable in all four of those events again and even entered a fifth event.
“I was really happy,” he said, when asked shortly after winning the final event of the national track championships alongside fellow RaceClean teammate, Michael Foley. “Last year I raced four events and won four events and this year I was trying to repeat that. I did the kilo as well this year—and got smoked in that—so it was nice to get those four events again.”
Gee’s version of smoked might be up for debate – he finished 12th in the kilo event won by Hugo Barrette—but there is no debating that he is a shining light on the Canadian track scene. In just a few years he’s become a standout for the national team program.
“I started in the fall of 2016—I got invited to a camp to try [the track] out and I’ve been loving it ever since,” Gee said. “The goal is 2020 and I’m just working towards that. I think the track is really well suited to the kind of rider I am and the team pursuit environment we have here is great. We’re training with the same group of guys on the national team and we really motivate each other, so the level keeps getting higher and higher. It’s a really great environment.”
Gee will represent Canada at the upcoming World Cup event in Paris, then fly back to be part of the team pursuit squad that will compete at the Milton World Cup. Last year Gee, Adam Jamieson, Jay Lamoureax and Foley set the Canadian team pursuit record at the event.
The women’s endurance track events were spread out a bit more, with Annie Foreman-Mackey taking the individual pursuit and was also part of the Cyclery Racing team pursuit squad, along with Kinley Gibson, Ariane Bohnomme and Laurie Jussame that took gold.
“It is my first time winning the IP at nationals,” Foreman-Mackey said after her individual pursuit win on Saturday afternoon. “It was fun to compete with Ali [Allison Beveridge]—we live together, ride to the track together, then race against each other.”
Beveridge joined up with women’s omnium champion Stephanie Roorda to take the women’s Madison on Saturday night.
The weekend also saw the induction of three new members to the Canadian Cycling Hall of Fame: Linda Jackson, Eric Wohlberg and Nora Young.