The vaunted Canadian women’s team pursuit squad kept juggling its lineup on Saturday in Hong Kong but still came away with the gold medals and the World Cup, while Hugo Barrette scored silver in the men’s keirin.
Having qualified with the third fastest time on Friday with Stephanie Roorda, Laura Brown, Annie Foreman-Mackey and World Cup debutante Georgia Simmerling, the squad brought in Alison Beveridge for Brown in the first round versus the USA. The quartet was 3.5 seconds faster than the Americans.
The gold medal match was against Great Britain, a team which was also juggling its lineup. This time it was Roorda, Brown, Simmerling and Jasmin Glaesser, silver medalist in Friday’s points race. The race was a tight one, with Canada posting 4:19.373 to the Brits’ 4:20.034. Canada won two out the three World Cup events, taking silver in Cambridge, New Zealand. This is the women’s team pursuit squad’s second World Cup in three seasons.
— Cycling Canada (@CyclingCanada) January 16, 2016
The women’s team sprint duo of Monique Sullivan and Kate O’Brien was in the bronze medal match against Spain, but lost out by 0.117 of a second. Fourth place, combined with eighth in Cali and fifth in Cambridge, brings the duo closer to ensuring that it will be among the nine squads going to the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games. The World Championships in London in early March will have the final say.
Earlier in the day both Sullivan and O’Brien qualified for the individual sprint with good flying-start 200-metre times, but were awkwardly matched against each other in the 1/16 finals, where O’Brien prevailed. O’Brien lost to eventual silver medalist and hometown athlete Wai Sze Lee in the 1/8 finals and couldn’t get back in through the repechage.
Barrette stormed into the keirin finals, ruling Heat 3 of the first round and Heat 2 of the second round. In the finals he lost out on gold only by 0.012 of a second to Dutchman Matthijs Buchli. Barrette’s performance is the high mark for the Canadian men this World Cup season, with the women taking all the medals so far.
It was a tough day for Remi Pelletier-Roy and Alison Beveridge in the first half of their omniums. Pelletier-Roy’s best result was 15th in the individual pursuit. Beveridge, who took omnium gold in the Cambridge World Cup, fared a little better with 5th in the individual pursuit, but finds herself outside the top-6 going into Sunday’s second day of competition.
On top of the omnium, Sunday sees Monique Sullivan contest the keirin and Hugo Barrette in the individual sprint.