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Cycling Canada – Stephanie Roorda takes homes bronze medal in women’s scratch race
(London, GBR – March 03, 2016) Steph Roorda won Canada’s second medal of the 2016 Track World Championships on Thursday, in London, Great Britain, when she attacked the field in the last 500 metres of the Women’s Scratch Race, and held on to take the bronze medal.  Canada sits fifth in the standings with two bronze medals after two days of competition.

Roorda launched what would prove to be the decisive attack with less then two laps to go in the 40 lap race, catching a breakaway group with half a lap left and still leading with 100 metres to go.  However, Laura Trott (Great Britain) came up fast from behind with Kirsten Wild (Netherlands), and the pair caught Roorda on the final straight to take gold and silver, with Roorda hanging on for third.

This was Roorda’s first individual medal at a world championships, and she said “It feels great.  I think it’s a testament to the work we do on the Team Pursuit.  We’re really fit and it proves we can perform in other events as well, so I’m really, really happy.”

“No one was really keen to catch that [breakaway] group and there was a bit of a hesitation, and that was the moment that I saw it was the right move to make, and I knew some of the big names were behind me, and if I could open the gap and go over that [breakaway] group of riders, then it was going to be to my advantage.  You just go as hard as you can at that point, sprinting for the finish line, and not thinking about anything, really.”

Photo Rob Jones/Canadian Cyclist (All Rights Reserved)

In other Canadian action, the Women’s Team Pursuit squad of Allison Beveridge, Jasmin Glaesser, Kirsti Lay and Georgia Simmerling, finished second in the qualifying round, with a time of 4:20.664. The United States were the top qualifiers.  Canada will face New Zealand in the next round on Friday, with the winner going on to the gold medal final.

“I’m optimistic for our team,” said Simmerling. “Today was not our best ride, but we can make some small changes and go a lot faster. It was a crazy day out there but we’re sitting in a good position. We can execute.”

Canada also had two entrants in the Women’s Keirin – Kate O’Brien and Monique Sullivan.  Both raced aggressively in the opening rounds, but did not make it past the Repechage round.

“Anything can happen in the Keirin,” said Sullivan.  “It was pretty exciting to have two of us in the race today; that’s never happened before.  It was actually Katie’s first real international Keirin at the world championships, so it’s a pretty big step for us.  We’ve been focussed on getting that Team Sprint spot [for Rio], so that was the real mission for the season, and we were both feeling the effects of that here.  We don’t really have the best legs, but that’s a sacrifice for the Olympics.”

“We were focussed on execution, and getting good, aggressive rides in, so that when we have the legs, we’ll know what to do with them.  For me personally, in the second race I used up my bullets too early and misjudged the speed of the racers coming behind me.  We were both racing aggressively and were in the mix, and it does show progress and that we are going in the right direction, even though it doesn’t always look like it from the results.”

On Friday, Canadians will race in the Women’s Team Pursuit, Men’s Sprint and Men’s Individual Pursuit.

Cycling Canada Cyclisme