April 16, 2006 (Bordeaux, France) – Gina Grain, of Vancouver, BC, won silver today in the Women’s Scratch Race at the 2006 Track World Championships in Bordeaux, France. Grain initiated a break with 17 laps to go and was able to take a lap on the field with the eventual gold medal winner from Colombia, Maria Luisa Williams Calle. Olga Slyusareva of Russia won the bronze
“I kept listening to what Eric (head coach Van den Eynde) said to me before the race about being patient and looking for the right opportunity. I saw that a large group had just come back to us after a long time out front and it seemed like a good opportunity to take a chance and attack,” said Grain after the race.
The group would surprisingly not counter her attack except for the rider from Colombia, who would bridge up to Grain with about 10 laps to go. The two would take turns at the front until they were able to catch the main group with about five laps to go. It was at that moment that Grain made perhaps her only mistake in the race in putting forward a hard effort to finally close the gap with the peloton. “I probably pushed too hard and stayed on the front too long. When we finally got back to the group, I had no gas left and was not able to stay on Calle’s wheel for the final sprint to the line. It’s a mistake I’ll remember that’s for sure,” commented Grain.
Grain has not felt well throughout these Worlds after a busy schedule has seen her compete in Australia at road and track World Cup events, the Commonwealth Games, and at these World Track Championships, all within the last 6 weeks. “I didn’t think I would be able to spin my way out of a paper bag today and certainly not be in a position to win a medal,” said Grain
Nonetheless, Grain rode comfortably to silver, capping an end to a successful season. “It’s a great way to end the season after coming so close to two medals at the Commonwealth Games (Grain finished 4th in the Women’s Points Race on the track and 4th in the Women’s Road Race). Eric has had so much faith and confidence in me. It’s nice to be able to pay it back today with my silver medal,” she added.
Canada also participated in the Men’s Madison this afternoon. The team of Martin Gilbert and Zach Bell were overmatched by the field and were forced to abandon the race.