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Juniors smash five Canadian records at national track championships

Madison Dempster, Dylan Bibic, Sarah van Dam and Riley Pickrell all had stand out rides at junior nationals

Canada’s track future continues to look promising with under-17 and junior athletes breaking records as they competed for national titles at the 2018 Canadian track championships. Five Canadian records were broken at the Mattamy National Cycling Centre in Milton, Ont. showing the strong development of young track athletes in Canada.

Four of the Canadian records that were surpassed were in sprint events. In the team sprint, Team Ontario of Dylan Bibic, Andrew Scott and Tyler Rorke broke the U17 men’s record, Team Ontario of Nicole Bradbury and Madison Dempster broke the women’s U17 record, and Cycling BC with Tyler Davies, Ethan Ogrodniczuk and Riley Pickrell broke the junior men’s record. In the U17 women’s 500 m time trial and 200 m time trial, Dempster (Midweek Cycling) broke the standing records.

At the conclusion of the event, Ontario led the title standings with 19 followed by British Columbia’s 14. Quebec took three national titles and Alberta had two.

While Dempster’s three national records stand out, Ontario Dylan Bibic (Midweek Cycling) won a total of seven gold medals in the U17 category. Bibic took medals in every single event he competed in including the sprint and 500 m time trial which was the only two he didn’t win.

“It was a good weekend. I don’t have the really fast acceleration for the sprint events; I like to get going while I’m already up to speed, so the sprints were challenging for me,” explained 14-year-old Bibic. “I expected to get on the podium for most events, but I didn’t expect to get as many first places as I did.”

BC’s Sarah van Dam was dominant in her first year in the junior women’s category winning seven titles. “It’s pretty unreal. I came into this competition thinking that there were so many good riders here, so I was just taking it race by race,” van Dam said. “I just worked on good positioning for every race and it turned out well. I knew I came here near the top, but I didn’t know I was going to be at the very top; there are so many strong riders here.”

Pickrell, also a first-year junior, won six medals in the junior men’s category. “I came into the weekend expecting to do well, and I think I achieved what I came to do. I was moving up a category, so I thought the competition would be as hard as it was,” he said. “I’m super excited about the Canadian record [in the Team Sprint]. My teammates and I have been working hard all winter for it, nailing the exchanges, and it all came together.”

Jessika Grand Bois the technical delegate for the championships praised the level of racing, camaraderie and progress the young athletes showed adding that the fields have grown every year.