February 26, 2017 (Los Angeles, CA) – Team Canada won two medals on the second day of racing at the Track World Cup final in Los Angeles on Saturday. The Women’s Team Sprint squad won silver and the Women’s Team Pursuit squad won bronze.
Canada's Walsh and OBrien on Women's Team Sprint podium © Guy Swarbrick
After qualifying fourth on Friday evening, the Team Sprint duo of Kate O’Brien (Edmonton, AB) and Amelia Walsh (Ayr, ON) were second fastest in the next round on Saturday afternoon, putting them into the gold medal final against world champions Gazprom-Rusvelo in the evening. Racing in their first final, the Canadians had a time of 34.146 seconds to take the silver medal, 0.311 seconds behind the Russian team. This is Canada’s first ever World Cup medal in Team Sprint. Canada finished eighth overall in the World Cup standings, despite racing in only two of four events.
Canada's O'Brien © Guy Swarbrick
O’Brien also made it through to the second round of the Women’s Keirin and eventually finished 11th. O’Brien finished 13th overall in the World Cup standings, despite racing in only two of four events.
“It was a longer day for me,” said O’Brien, “I had four Keirins and two Team Sprints, so I had a lot in my legs. But Walshy did a good lead out [in the Team Sprint]. Some of the cards played in our favour, but it’s a super exciting thing and we are really looking forward to the future.”
“It is pretty surreal for me,” admitted Walsh, who just moved to track from BMX. “This is only my second track race, so it is surreal to be on the podium, to be honest.”
Canadian Women's Team Pursuit squad win bronze © Guy Swarbrick
In the Women’s Team Pursuit, the Canadian team of Laura Brown (Vancouver, BC), Jasmin Duehring (Vancouver, BC), Kirsti Lay (Montreal, QC) and Steph Roorda (Vancouver, BC) qualified third on Friday evening. They finished second to New Zealand in the next round, with Annie Foreman-Mackey (Kingston, ON) replacing Lay, but won the bronze medal final against Italy with a time of four minutes and 25.487 seconds. Foreman-Mackey replaced Roorda for the medal race. Canada finished fifth overall in the World Cup standings, despite racing in only two of three events.
Canadian Women's Team Pursuit squad en route to bronze © Guy Swarbrick
“The ride went okay,” said Brown, “we only really got together as a team this week, so to win bronze was pretty awesome, and we are really looking forward to world championships. We did some experimenting with the [rider] order, which was fun to try.”
Hugo Barrette © Guy Swarbrick
In other competition, Hugo Barrette (Iles de la Madeleine, QC) qualified tenth in the Men’s Sprint and won his one-sixteenth ride before losing in the one-eighth finals to eventual bronze medalist Sam Webster of New Zealand. Barrette finished 18th overall in the World Cup standings, despite racing in only two of four events.
Hugo Barrette © Guy Swarbrick
“It wasn’t my greatest day,” admitted Barrette. “But top-10 is pretty good because I’m coming from far back with no racing in the past six months. The objective is to do a great performance in Hong Kong [at the world championships], which I have in mind. I’ve proven that even when I’m not in my best shape I can be competitive.”