December 04, 2011 (Cali, Colombia) – Canada’s Track Cycling team is continuing to show signs of improvements as it concluded the second of four events on the 2012 UCI Track Cycling World Cup in Cali, Colombia, winning two silver medals in the Omnium with defending World Cup Champions Zach Bell and Tara Whitten riding in fine form as they opened their World Cup season.
On the second day of racing, Bell rolled up his sleeve and went to work. He posted the sixth best time in the individual pursuit with 4:27.686 – also a personal best. He then managed to finish fifth in the scratch race, and ended the Omnium with a third place in the individual pursuit, also posting a personal best of 1:03.805.
“Coming in to the race, I was apprehensive about my condition because it’s been over seven months since my last competition on the track. I was pleasantly surprised to have achieved personal bests in all three timed events, considering that we have not focused a lot on the top-end training.” said Zach Bell. “Thanks again for all the support from everyone back home in Canada – from all the back-room staff/people to the great support team I have with me on the road.”
With attending only one of the two World Cup events this season, Bell now sits in fifth place of the overall World Cup leader board.
Whitten opened up the competition with a third place in the flying lap with a time of 14.455 seconds, and then went on to win the points race, scoring 30 points. She placed second in the elimination race to strengthen her place in the standings after the first day of competition.
Whitten opened up the second day of completion on a high note, winning the individual pursuit with a time of 3:30.222, but dropped down in the event ranking with a 14th position in the wide-open scratch race. With one event to go –the time trial race-, Whitten had to come up with a good performance to secure a medal. She took the seventh place, posting a time of 36.276 to secure the silver medal.
Racing in the women’s sprint event, Monique Sullivan of Calgary, Alta, placed 10th of the opening qualifying rounds with a time of 11.312 seconds. She went on to win her first elimination race against Korean Hyejin Lee to move in the quarterfinals, where she lost to Kristina Voguel of Germany. In the final seeding race of the day to determine 5th-8th place, Sullivan finished second and took the sixth position, collecting precious Olympic qualifying points.
The Men’s Team sprint team comprised of Travis Smith of Calgary, Alta, Joseph Veloce of Fonthill, Ont. and Hugo Barrette of Cap-Aux-Meules, Qué., posted a time of 44.867 seconds, breaking a new Canadian record and good for the ninth place.
In the men’s sprint event, Smith posted the fastest Canadian results of 10.214 seconds to qualify with the eighth fastest time. In the opening elimination race, he lost his duel against Polish rider Damian Zielinski and finished the day in 13th place. Teammate Hugo Barrette raced the qualifying round, and placed 18th.
Smith also competed in the men’s kerin race. In the opening qualifying round, he placed second to Trinidad’s Njisane Phillip and moved to the repêchage round. In the repêchage round, he also came in second, this time to French rider Francois Pervis to end his day of the kerin competition.
Young rising star Jasmin Glaesser of Coquitlam, BC, racing her career second World Cup event, placed 13th in the Women’s Individual Pursuit, posting a time of 3:44.044. Glaesser also rode in the women’s scratch race, placing a respectable 15th position.
The Canadian Track cycling will now travel back to Los Angeles, California, where they will continue their training for the upcoming two World Cup events and to pursue their preparations for the 2012 Olympic Summer Games in London. The next UCI World Cup event will be held from January13-15, in Beijing, China.