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Genest and Coles-Lyster earn runner-up spots at second round of UCI Track Champions League

More strong Canadian performances in Lithuania

Although there were no first places for Canadians in Saturday’s second round of the UCI Track Cycling Champions League in Panevezys, Lithuania’s Cido Arena, there were two runner-up spots and a third. Maggie Coles-Lyster, winner of the inaugural scratch race three weeks ago, was runner-up in the scratch race, while Lauriane Genest came second in the women’s sprint. Kelsey Mitchell named third in the women’s keirin.

Round One Review

The first round in Mallorca, Spain saw Kelsey Mitchell win the keirin and come third in the individual sprint to sit second to Germany’s Emma Hinze in the women’s sprint category. Maggie Coles-Lyster’s scratch victory and sixth in the elimination had her second to Brit Kate Archibald in the endurance category. Lauriane Genest was fourth in Mallorca’s individual sprint and Hugo Barrette placed fifth in the keirin.

Mitchell and Genest were first up, in the women’s sprint first round. Genest was assigned to a trio containing Colombian’s Martha Bayona Pineda and Japan’s Mina Sato in Round 3, while Mitchell drew a Russian and cagey Lithuanian vet Simona Krupeckaite. Pineda led Genest and Sato and then started her sprint early, but the Canadian came around her for the win. The Russian was pushed to the front by her coach but Krupeckaite attacked from way out and stayed clear.

Genest wins her first round sprint heat in Lithuania.

Barrette was up next in the first round of the men’s keirin. The Canadian was in the third sextet to follow the derny. Barrette was in last place when the derny pulled off but immediately pushed to the front. He couldn’t hold firm and just missed out on qualifying for the final.

Genest carried Canada’s hopes in the women’s sprint semifinal. She drew Yuli Paola Verdugo Osuna (Mexico) and hometown hero Krupeckaite in Heat 2. Genest was on point for the first lap crawl. The Lithuanian made a brave move on the outside but quickly ran out of steam. Osuna couldn’t overcome Genest, who received Mitchell’s exuberant whoops from the infield.

Genest bosses the sprint semi-final.

It was Coles-Lyster’s time to shine in the women’s scratch race. Archibald attacked with 16 laps to go but Kirsten Wild made the catch four laps later. A Pole tried her luck with 8 laps to go but her effort was short lived. Coles-Lyster was a little far back going into the final lap, as was Archibald, but it would be the two of them contesting the victory with the Brit prevailing.

In the women’s sprint final, Genest faced Mallorca winner Emma Hinze, who was clad in the light blue sprint leader’s kit. Genest was position two on the first lap and found herself with a big gap to close in the second half of the penultimate lap. She caught up to the German but had the long way around and came up a little short.

Barrette was back in action in the men’s sprint first round. Dutchman Jeffrey Hoogland and Russian Denis Dmitriev were his competitors. Barrette went long and had a good lead, but the Russian came around the outside to clip the Canadian.

Barrette was second in his men’s sprint first round heat.

Mitchell and Genest returned to the boards in the women’s keirin first round. Mitchell raced in Heat 2 versus Verdugo Osuna, Krupeckaite and three others. Mitchell grabbed the derny’s wheel, but the Russian took over once it swung off. Mitchell reestablished her lead and then drove home to the win. Genest was in a group with Olena Starakova, Bayona Pineda and Lea Sophie Friedrich, and the Canadian placed third.

Before Mitchell vied for the keirin win, Coles-Lyster headed to the dreaded race of the flashing red light, the women’s elimination race. Could she keep pace with Archibald while improving on sixth? A mechanical meant that Wild was the first eliminated. The Canadian kept at the pointy end of the streamlined group and soon was in the final six. Then it was Coles-Lyster, Archibald and two others, but the Canadian would have to be satisfied with fourth.

In the women’s keirin final, Mitchell was second bike after the derny. She had to come around the outside but couldn’t clear Hinze and Friedrich. It was be third for the Canadian.

Mitchell in the Lithuanian keirin.

The next rounds are back-to-back on December 3 and 4 at London’s Lee Valley Velo Park.