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Para-cycling world championships round-up: Canadians take two wins and a silver

Team Canada had an exceptional run in France

The Canadian national team had an incredible showing at the 2022 UCI para-cycling track world championships in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines in France, with a total of two world titles, one silver medal and plenty of personal bests.

Canada opened the event with a silver medal by former world champion and paralympic medallist, Kate O’Brien, in the women’s C4 500 m time trial.

Meanwhile, British Columbia’s Mel Pemble opened up her world championship debut with a world record in the women’s C3 200 m sprint.

“Coming in as world champion, I obviously wanted to defend the title,” O’Brien said in a statement to Cycling Canada. “I had my first crash since 2017 on the track last week and I also had to recover from COVID-19. Up until yesterday, it was not even certain if I would race, so I am super grateful to be here today and to have the support from everyone.”

Pemble beat the world record in the 200 m sprint, taking the win in the first event of the omnium competition. Her win in the scratch race, which also counted towards the overall in the omnium  allowed her to accumulate enough points to stand at the top of the standings. She ended the four events with a total of 150 points, just two points in front of Aniek Van den Aarsen from the Netherlands, ultimately winning the world title.

“This is so surreal,” Pemble said. “This is a goal I had maybe in two years time, maybe next year. For it to happen at my first world championships, made it quite the day. I was really nervous today, so I’m glad it paid off.”

“It’s an incredible performance for sure, I knew Mel had it in her,” Sébastien Travers, national team coach said. “She’s got some experience on the track and we just tried to rehearse what she normally does at home and to execute the races, at our best capacities. She was at the right place at the right time and then just did a master effort at the end, which paid off.”

On the final day of racing, Pemble, O’Brien and Alexandre Hayward all capped off their racing schedules to take part in the mixed team sprint event, where they raced their way to an 11th spot with a time of 57.311.