October 10, 2016 (Aguascalientes, Mexico) – Canada finished just outside the medals on Sunday, the final day of competition at the Pan Am Track Championships in Aguascalientes, Mexico. Kinley Gibson of Edmonton was the top Canadian rider of the day, finishing fourth overall in the Women’s Omnium.
Gibson went into the final Points Race sitting third overall, just four points in front of Yeny Colmenares of Colombia. Colmenares had a very strong Points Race, finishing second, while Gibson could only manage fourth, putting her six points behind the Colombian in the final overall standings, with 193 points. Marlies Mejias of Cuba dominated the competition, finishing with 231 points for the gold medal.
Cameron Jennings, the Women’s Endurance coach for the project, said “on the women’s side we came down with a development squad, plus Jasmin Glaesser from the Elite team. For the girls to do a 4:21 in the Team Pursuit [where they won gold] is a very encouraging sign, and for Jasmin and Ariane [Bonhomme] to both podium in the Points Race, and Jasmin in the Individual Pursuit also … I think it’s been a great Pan Am Championships and is very promising for the next generation of riders.”
In the Men’s Keirin, both Stefan Ritter of Edmonton and Joel Archambault of Sainte-Christine, Quebec, made it through the preliminary rounds to the final six that would race for the medals. However, for both riders it was their first time competing at this level, and more experienced riders took the medals, with Ritter finishing fifth and Archambault sixth.
“The sprint team continued to perform above expectations,” said Alex Ongaro, Sprint coach of the project. “Both Stefan and Joel won their respective heats in the Keirin to make it to the final. That didn’t go quite as well as planned, but they both performed well and gained experience for the future. There were a lot of personal bests and everyone performed very well on all five days. Our three [sprint] riders excelled in everything they did.”
Canada had a very strong Championships, with a total of nine medals, including three golds, to finish third in the medal standings. Additionally, Stefan Ritter’s two Junior world records in the 1000m and 200m time trials highlight the effort that Cycling Canada is putting into its Milton-based track programs. The Mattamy National Cycling Centre continues to play an unprecedented and foundational role in Canada’s continued rise up the ranks in international track cycling. The facility has been critical to recent growth and now serves as a beacon for athletes looking to fulfill their Olympic Dreams.