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Cycling Canada – Women Team Pursuit squad earns silver medal in North American match-up
 
(London, GBR – March 04, 2016) Canada kept its medal streak alive at the Track World Championships on Friday, in London, Great Britain, by taking the silver medal in the Women’s Team Pursuit.  This is the third consecutive day that Canada has medaled at the championships, with bronze medal performances on each of the first two days.
 
The Canadian team of Allison Beveridge, Jasmin Glaesser, Kirsti Lay and Georgia Simmerling qualified second behind the United States on Thursday, and raced New Zealand in an early session on Friday, with the winner moving on to the gold medal race in the evening.  After leading comfortably for much of the qualifying race, a poor exchange late in the race meant the Canadians had to struggle to beat New Zealand by a mere three-thousandths of a second to get into the gold medal race.
 
Against the Americans – who had set the fastest time of the competition in their qualifying race – Canada held their ground for the first 1000 metres, but gradually began to lose time through the remainder of the race, eventually finishing 2.723 seconds behind.
 
“We came here with the expectation that we could win Worlds,” admitted Lay, “so it’s bittersweet to come in second.  But at the same time, I think we put everything that we could into this race.  We have our eyes on Rio [Olympic Games] and that’s the most important thing.  So we will regroup and move forward.  We know we are capable of so much more, so a silver is still pretty good.”
 
“We have been changing positions up, trying to see what is the best strategy.  I’ve been more on the front end this week, so it takes more out of me at the end.  We’ll keep switching up and see what is the best combination.”
 
“It’s been an amazing track season.  I think it’s a testament to our staff and Cycling Canada, and everything that they’ve done for us.  We have such a team behind us that we have no reason not to succeed.  We have evidence that we can put great rides together, so we’ve just got to keep that in our minds and keep moving forward.”
 
In other Canadian performances, Hugo Barrette qualified 17th for the Men’s Sprint with a time of 9.992 seconds, in a field where 18 of 24 qualifiers went under 10 seconds.  For his first round of racing, Barrette was paired up with the defending and four-time world champion Gregory Bauge of France.  Barrette went to the front and controlled the race, and was still leading with 50 metres to go, before Bauge caught him on the line in a photo finish.
 
“It is the fastest competition of all time, by far,” commented Barrette. “It’s pretty amazing; in 2012 at the Olympics [on this track], only three guys were under 10 seconds.”
 
“It was interesting [to go against Bauge], but no matter who is in front of me, I’m going to try to win.  I didn’t look at it as ‘I’m going against the world champion’, I just gave it my best shot, and at the end of the day, he beat me by one tire [width] in a photo finish.  I raced really well and no mistakes were made, it was just that he was stronger today.  I’m not disappointed, I think I did a good ride.”
 
Remi Pelletier-Roy also competed, in the Men’s 4000m Individual Pursuit.  Pelletier-Roy qualified 14th, and did not move on to the next round.
 
“This was the first time [at the world championships] for our men’s Team Pursuit program,” said Pelletier-Roy, “and also the first Worlds for myself and everybody on the team.  It was pretty exciting to qualify after we didn’t qualify last year, and qualifying through the World Cups was a big achievement for us.  To put up a 4:05 time [for the Team pursuit]; I think we can be pretty proud of that.”
 
“Usually in the IP [Individual Pursuit] I’m conservative, because when I do it in the Omnium it is only one of six events.  Since this was a standalone IP, we thought it would be good to have a go.  Last week at Milton [velodrome] I did a 4:23, which is a pretty good time, so we went with a bigger gear and faster schedule, because it’s Worlds and I didn’t want to have any regrets.  I blew up a bit, but I’m still happy I went for it.  It’s been a pretty good year, I’m pretty happy with it.”
 
Canada has a full day of competition on Saturday, with Allison Beveridge starting the Women’s Omnium, Jasmin Glaesser the Points Race and both Monique Sullivan and Kate O’Brien entered in the Sprint.
 
ABOUT CYCLING CANADA
Cycling Canada is the governing body for competitive cycling in Canada. Founded in 1882, Cycling Canada aims to create and sustain an effective system that develops talented Canadian cyclists to achieve Olympic, Paralympic, and World Championship medal performances. With the vision of being a leading competitive cycling nation by 2020 celebrating enhanced international success, increased national participation and world class event hosting, Cycling Canada manages the High-Performance team, hosts national and international events and administers community programs to promote Cycling in Canada. For more information, please visit: www.cyclingcanada.ca.
 
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INFORMATION
Guy Napert-Frenette
Communications
Cycling Canada Cyclisme
Cell. 403 669-5015
guynf@performancepr.ca