Out In Front
Team Completes a Milestone Year
The five-man squad of Aidan Caves, Adam Jamieson, Jay Lamoureux, Bayley Simpson and Ed Veal made history as they took their first World Cup podium at the opening round in Glasgow, Scotland on Nov. 4-6 with a bronze-medal performance. They bettered their result a week later in Apeldoorn, The Netherlands by winning gold and taking over the World Cup series lead in the event.
Canada chose to send only its men's Endurance squad to the first two events of the 2016-17 UCI World Cup Track season to allow riders who had competed in August's Rio Olympics some time to recharge.
At the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome in Glasgow, the Canadian men's Team Pursuit qualified third and then faced off against France, who was second in the qualifications. Despite being bested by France, the Canucks' 4:03.056 run was third-fastest overall and allowed them to advance to the bronze-medal round where they defeated Switzerland to land on the podium for the first time with a historic bronze.
The team's third place was by far their top World Cup result, overturning their previous best – a ninth last year in New Zealand. It has been a flurry of milestones for the team, as they broke the four-minute mark at the Pan American Track Championships in Mexico in October, which helped set the stage for a medal at Glasgow.
In other Canadian results, Jamieson placed 11th in the men's Points race behind winner Cameron Meyer (AUS), while on the final day of competition, Lamoureux powered to a strong sixth place in the men's Individual Pursuit, won by Sylvain Chavanel (FRA).
Buoyed by their success in Glasgow, the Canadian men's Team Pursuit crew used newfound confidence to capture their first World Cup gold medal in Apeldoorn on Nov. 11-13.
“When we came into the two World
Cups, the aim was top eight in both, so
I think we've certainly surpassed our expectations,” said Ian Melvin, National men's Endurance coach after the victory.
“Glasgow certainly gave us a lot of confidence, and I think, as we came in here to Apeldoorn, we looked at the teams, we knew were going to be in the mix . . . . We went into [qualifying] with a race plan, we had a strategy and we executed really well, so we were confident that we'd be able to do that again [in the final] with Belgium, and it worked out really well.”
After qualifying fourth and then winning the first round, Simpson replaced Veal in the final as Team Canada faced off with Belgium in the ride for gold. The Belgians got the early advantage with a fast start, but the young Canucks stuck to the plan, steadily taking back time as the Belgians cracked in the final 1,000 metres. The Canadians nailed the fastest split and secured a four-second bolster at the finish.
France overcame Poland for bronze. Canada now has 1,800 points in the World Cup standings, followed by Great Britain in second with 1,700 points and France slotted in third, tied with Great Britain.
Jamieson also contested the men's Points race for Canada, finishing seventh behind winner Mark Downey (IRL), while Team Canada's Caves placed 11th in the men's Omnium, with Szymon Wojciech Sajnok (POL) taking the win.
With the progress the young Canadian team has made in just a short time, and with four years still to go, things are looking bright for the next Olympics in 2020.
Men's Team Pursuit (l-r): Bayley Simpson, Adam Jamieson, Ed Veal, Jay Lamoureux and Aiden Caves