The women’s team pursuit team of Annie Foreman-Mackey, Ariane Bonhomme, Kinley Gibson and Allison Beveridge won gold in Milton on Saturday. In front of a home crowd, the quartet nearly lapped the New Zealand team they were up against putting in an extremely strong 4,000 m.
“Racing in front of a home crowd is really special, it was so loud we could barely hear anything that was going on,” Foreman-Mackey said after the race. “You get that extra motivation and strength from all the family and friends that are here.”
The win was Canada’s only gold medal from the Milton World Cup but over the weekend strong performances came from the men’s team pursuit which set a new Canadian record before a crash in the final dashed their gold medal chances.
The home crowd was cheering loudly for every Canadian who got on the boards but during the team pursuit it was particularly deafening.
“My parents are here and they’ve never been to a track race!” Foreman-Mackey said about who came out to see the race. Beveridge’s sister also came to spectate her first track event.
For Gibson and Bonhomme, the win was significant because it’s the first gold they earn at the World Cup in their first year out of the development ransk. “It’s my first World Cup gold,” Gibson said. “It’s a privileged to get that and it’s an extra bonus to do it at home, it’s just a tone of fun.”
The win is the first step in the teams path to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Next year qualifying starts. “We are looking ahead to the world championships and the Commonwealth Games so that’s the next focus coming up,” explained Gibson.