December 07, 2015 (Cambridge, New Zealand) – Canada added two medals on the third and last day of competition at the UCI Track World Cup in Cambridge, New Zealand. A pair of Calgary track cyclists stepped up, with Allison Beveridge winning her first individual World Cup race, in the omnium event, while Monique Sullivan raced her way to the bronze medal in the women’s keirin, winning her career first World Cup medal.
Sitting in fourth place in the omnium ranking after the first day of competition, Beveridge started her second day with a third place in the time trial and posted the fastest time in the flying lap to put herself in second place in the overall ranking before the final Points Race of the omnium competition.
In the ultimate race of the two-day event, Beveridge won four intermediate sprints and added three more points for a total of 23 points for a cumulative total of 201 points, putting her atop the standings and taking the gold medal. She edged reigning World Champion Annette Edmondson of Australia, who finished with 188 points, and Jolien D’Hoore of Belgium with 182 points.
This first individual World Cup victory for Beveridge, who also won a silver medal on Saturday in the Women’s Team Pursuit, comes in her second only World Cup start in the grueling, two-day event. Beveridge has been on multiple World Cup and World Championships podiums throughout her career. This women’s omnium gold medal is the first since 2011 when Tara Whitten won the gold at the World Cup in Beijing.
“This is only my second World Cup Omnium,” said Beveridge. “I rode one a couple of years ago but I’ve not ridden one for a while, so I didn’t know what to expect.”
When asked about her focus leading to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, Beveridge’s answer is straightforward: “Definitely my focus is the Team Pursuit. We have a really strong team, and we are trying to put it together over the next eight months. It’s our total focus. We are really coming together, and so we are pushing it and want to let people know that we are knocking on the door for Rio.”
The victory for Beveridge catapults her to the fourth place of the UCI World Cup rankings.
In the women’s keirin, Monique Sullivan, also from Calgary, finished in second place in the opening round, advancing to the semi-finals, avoiding the repechage. With the top 3 advancing to the finals, Sullivan crossed the line in second place for her berth in the medal race.
In the medal race, Sullivan ended up in fourth place, but third-place finisher Hyejin Lee of Korea was relegated, bumping Sullivan to third place.
The medal marks the career first World Cup medal for Sullivan.
“Thank you to all of you for believing in me and supporting me and sticking with me! Last night I won my very first World Cup medal with a bronze in the Keirin! This has been such a long time coming and I feel very grateful to continue to have these opportunities to be doing what I love, especially with so much sadness around the world. I have been thinking about the quote ‘You cannot cure the world of sadness but you can choose to live in joy’ and I guess sometimes that’s all we can really do.”
Jacques Landry, Cycling Canada’s head coach and Director of High Performance, reflects on the performance of the Canadians in New Zealand: “From a performance and program progression standpoint, this World Cup in New Zealand has been our best one ever. Not only did we step on the podium three times this past weekend, but we are also improving our performances against benchmarked countries in the team sprint events and the men’s team pursuit. What is encouraging is that these noted improvements come on the back of having Remi [Pelletier-Roy] and Hugo [Barrette] still not 100% fit due to still coming back from their respective recent injuries, and without Sean Mackinnon in the men’s team pursuit line-up who stayed home due to illness. I’m happy with the overall team’s performances despite the recent minor setbacks from injuries.”
The ultimate UCI Track World Cup event will be January 15-17 in Hong Kong.