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Sprint silver for Kelsey Mitchell on Day 2 of Milton Nations Cup action

Seven top-10 results for Team Canada on Friday the 13th

Photo by: Photo by Nick Iwanyshyn

There was no bad luck for Team Canada on Friday the 13th’s Day 2 of the UCI Nations Cup at the Mattamy National Cycling Centre in Milton, ON, as Kelsey Mitchell won her second medal in two days, a silver in the individual sprint. Lauriane Genest made it to the individual sprint bronze medal match where she placed fourth. There were also five other top-10 performances.

Women’s individual sprint: Mitchell and Genest

Day 2 started in the morning with the women’s individual sprint qualifying. Mitchell and Genest, two of the three members of Thursday’s bronze medal team sprint crew, both advanced. Mitchell, the sprint winner in Glasgow, powered to the fastest time and Genest was third. The Canadians got to skip the 1/16 finals.

In the 1/8 finals Mitchell drew Japanese athlete Mina Sato, winning by the biggest margin of the round. Genest beat Mexican rider Luz Gaxiola.

The quarterfinals saw Mitchell face China’s Yufang Guo, while Genest took on Japan’s Riyo Ohta. The Canadians were on the back foot after the first race with losses, but both bounced back to win the second race handily. The rubber matches came just before the day’s recess, and the Canadian powerhouses prevailed.

The crowds filed in for the evening session anticipating the semifinals. Mitchell was paired with Colombian Martha Bayona and Genest drew German world champion Emma Hinze. Mitchell led out in Heat 1 but she forced the Colombian to the front where she dispatched her competiton. Genest also had to lead out–Hinze went up high before the final lap and then surged past the Canadian to take the advantage.

Kelsey Mitchell of Canada crosses the line before Colombian Martha Bayona in the women’s sprint race semi finals. Photo by Nick Iwanyshyn

In Heat 2 Bayona just couldn’t get past Mitchell in the final stretch, and Hinze staved off Genest’s challenge.

Genest’s first bronze match heat put her in the lead spot, watching the Colombian over her shoulder. It looked like Genest was going to keep Bayona outside and hold her off, but the Colombian took the win. In Heat 2 the result was the same.

Genest and Bayona in the finishing straight.

Mitchell had won her Tokyo Olympic Games gold medal in a showdown with Hinze. Hinze led out in Heat 1 and Mitchell couldn’t come around her. Heat 2 was a photo finish but Hinze won by 0.008 seconds.

Team pursuit squad members Ariane Bonhomme and Adele Desgangnes contested the women’s individual pursuit. Both Canadians had good results, finishing sixth and seventh respectively, but only the top four would tussle for the medals later in the day.

Ngaire Barraclough, another team pursuit outfit member, was also in the women’s scratch race. There was a big mob to contend with in the 40 laps, including a rider from Laos. The pace picked up with 12 circuits of the Siberian spruce to go. A trio flared out with 9 laps remaining. Barraclough led the catch and then stayed up at the front, but found herself far back with 3 laps left. The world champion Martina Fidanza took the gold and Barraclough was 16th.

The Canadian in the men’s scratch race was Jackson Kinniburgh. Again, it was a crowded field, with 60 laps to race. Rhys Britton (of Great Britain) lapped everyone to take the gold. Kinniburgh did well to carve his way through the crowd and take 10th.

Sarah van Dam took on the women’s elimination race, the race of the dreaded blinking red light. Van Dam survived the grind until the final seven but was taken down in a crash. She was allowed to continue but she went out in the next sprint lap. Still, sixth was a fine performance.

Sarah van Dam was in the final six when she was taken down in a crash. She finished sixth.

Day 2 ended with the men’s elimination race, where Canada’s Mathias Guillemette. He hung tough and raced intelligently into the final five with a Dutch rider soloing off the front. Guillemette came close to seizing a medal, but he would be pleased with fourth.