SULLIVAN & O’BRIEN QUALIFY FOR MEDAL ROUND AT HONG KONG WORLD CUP
Cycling Canada – Jasmin Glaesser takes silver in C1 Points race
(Hong Kong, CHN – January 15, 2016) Canada’s women’s team sprint duo is fast. And they proved it on Friday, kicking off the Hong Kong leg of the UCI Track Cycling World Cup with a fourth place finish in the qualifying round of the women’s team sprint, Canada’s best ever result in the event.
The Calgary-based pair of Monique Sullivan and Kate O’Brien posted the fourth fastest qualifying time of 33.620s. The duo will race for the bronze medal on Saturday against the Spanish team who qualified in third. The opportunity is there for the women to fine-tune their strategy going into the medal round and post an even faster time in the finale.
“The girls have worked extremely hard to get to this point and I could not be more proud of their focus, fortitude, and grace under pressure in a must-do situation. Our objective for the past year has been to chip away at the points we needed to break into the top nine teams that will qualify for the Olympics,” said Erin Hartwell, Canada’s track sprint coach.
“Today put us into the driver’s seat and one step closer to getting both Monique and Kate to Rio. It’s wonderful to be racing for a medal tomorrow as we’ve qualified into the top four for the first time. However, regardless of immediate success, we will forge on with the mindset and process-driven approach that has brought us to this position. Under no circumstance will we let our collective guard down in our grind to the Games. Nevertheless, I’ll admit I’m somewhat happy today…”
The Canadian women, who won gold in this event at the 2015 PanAm Games, could make history on Saturday. Canada’s women team sprint has never before won a World Cup or a World Championships medal.
In the Class 1 women’s points race, Jasmin Glaesser of Coquitlam, BC, managed to grab the silver medal by scoring 13 points in eight sprints throughout the 20km race.
The Canadian Women’s team pursuit squad, currently ranked #1 in the World Cup standings, posted the third fastest time in their qualifying round. The race marked the World Cup debut for former alpine skier Georgia Simmerling and she exceeded expectations. Canada will face the United States in the first round of the finals.
“We are assessing our athletes here in different roles within the lineup, so the result is less important than how each individual athlete performs, explains Kris Westwood, High Performance Manager for Cycling Canada. “That means in some cases the athletes are being put into unfamiliar roles, and the final result may be compromised, but in the long term it will help us perform better at the World Championships in London and in Rio.”
The Women’s Team Pursuit and Women’s Team Sprint medal rounds will take place Saturday.
In other events, the men’s team pursuit squad finished 13th in qualifying, continuing to gain experience and develop towards Tokyo 2020. The team experienced difficulties at the start, and had a hard time recovering. The four-man team is hoping to remain in contention for World Championships qualification. Sean MacKinnon and Aidan Caves also competed in the points and scratch races, respectively.
For results, visit Tissot Timing: http://tissottiming.com/Sport?sport=ct&year=2016
For video, see the UCI YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/ucichannel
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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