Com­mon­wealth Games

Pedal Magazine - - Contents - by Noah Simms

The XXI Com­mon­wealth Games were held in Gold Coast, Aus­tralia from April 5-14 and fea­tured some of the top cy­cling coun­tries in the world, in­clud­ing Team Canada, which named 18 ath­letes in to­tal. With 22 events, this was the first time in Games his­tory that women and men con­tested the same num­ber of medals. The track races kicked off the cy­cling events at the Anna Meares Velo­drome from April 5-8. Over the four days of com­pe­ti­tion, ath­letes bat­tled for 16 medal events – eight each for both the men and women. With top track­cy­cling na­tions such as Great Bri­tain, New Zealand and host na­tion Aus­tralia on the boards, the com­pe­ti­tion was guar­an­teed to be fierce.

Canada’s cy­cling pro­gram had an ex­cel­lent start to the Games, win­ning bronze in both the men’s and women’s Team Pur­suit. The women’s team of Al­li­son Bev­eridge, Ari­ane Bon­homme, Annie Fore­man-Mackey and Steph Ro­orda had been per­form­ing all sea­son at in­ter­na­tional events with high hopes for the Games. The team nar­rowly missed qual­i­fy­ing for the gold-medal fi­nal, but re­grouped to win bronze ahead of Eng­land in a time of 4:21.493. In the fi­nal, Aus­tralia caught New Zealand, tak­ing both the gold and set­ting a new Com­mon­wealth Games record.

The Cana­dian men’s team has been ec­static with their im­prove­ment since 2014. The youth­ful team of Michael Fo­ley, Derek Gee, Adam Jamieson, Jay Lamoureux and sub­sti­tute Ai­dan Caves bested Wales to take the bronze medal in a time of 4:00:440. Host na­tion Aus­tralia took the gold medal in a world-record time, de­feat­ing Eng­land.

The Team Sprints were also held on Day One, with both Cana­dian men’s and women’s teams in ac­tion. Amelia Walsh and Lau­ri­ane Gen­est set the fourth-fastest time in qual­i­fy­ing, but were dis­qual­i­fied for an ex­change out of the al­lowed zone. The men’s team of Hugo Bar­rette, Ste­fan Rit­ter and Pa­trice St-Louis qual­i­fied for the bronze fi­nal, but lost to Aus­tralia in their quest to reach the podium. In the gold-medal fi­nal, New Zealand de­feated Eng­land.

Day Two be­gan with Gen­est of Le­vis, Que. just miss­ing out on a medal in the women’s sprint. Gen­est de­fied all ex­pec­ta­tions by break­ing the Com­mon­wealth Games and Cana­dian record in qual­i­fy­ing, but would lose by just cen­time­tres in the semi­fi­nals to Natasha Hansen of New Zealand, qual­i­fy­ing her for the bronze-medal fi­nal against Kaarle McCul­loch of Aus­tralia. Gen­est was beaten in two rides by a tac­ti­cally su­pe­rior op­po­nent.

Also fea­tured on Day Two was the men’s Keirin, where Rit­ter fin­ished sev­enth, while On­tario’s Fore­man-Mackey also placed sev­enth in the women’s In­di­vid­ual Pur­suit, set­ting a per­sonal best in the process. Jamieson was Canada’s top fin­isher in the men’s In­di­vid­ual Pur­suit, plac­ing 15th.

The third day of com­pe­ti­tion saw Team Canada place in­side the top 10 on three oc­ca­sions, with Kin­ley Gib­son de­liv­er­ing a su­perb ride in the women’s

Points race, fin­ish­ing eighth. Gen­est and Walsh fin­ished in ninth and 10th re­spec­tively in the women’s 500 me­tres.

Canada strug­gled in the men’s Scratch race and sprint. Caves and Fo­ley did not fin­ish the 60-lap race, while both sprint­ers – Rit­ter and Bar­rette – were knocked out in the first round of com­pe­ti­tion.

April 8 held the fourth and fi­nal day of track cy­cling. Canada’s Walsh made the medal fi­nal in the women’s Keirin and fin­ished fifth over­all, while her team­mate Gen­est won the Small fi­nal, fin­ish­ing sev­enth. Bev­eridge also placed sev­enth in the Scratch race, as Amy Cure of Aus­tralia won the gold.

Aus­tralia added its third medal of the day in the men’s 1,000 me­tres, with Matt Glaet­zer set­ting a Games’ record time. Rit­ter was the top Cana­dian in 14th place. The track cy­cling con­cluded with the men’s Points race. Both Fo­ley and Lamoureux qual­i­fied in their re­spec­tive heats, with Lamoureux dis­play­ing an ag­gres­sive ride in the fi­nal to fin­ish 14th.

Af­ter a short one-day break, road cy­cling be­gan with the time-trial event on April 10. Canada’s Fore­man-Mackey fin­ished sev­enth on the chal­leng­ing 25.5km course through Cur­rumbin Beach at 3:51.82 be­hind gold-medal­ist Ka­trin Gar­foot of Aus­tralia. Linda Vil­lum­sen of New Zealand took the sil­ver, while the other Cana­di­ans Bon­homme and Ro­orda fin­ished 13th and 14th re­spec­tively. In the men’s 38.5km time trial, Cameron Meyer of Aus­tralia took home the gold, with top Cana­dian per­former Lamoureux fin­ish­ing 14th at 4:33.95 down. Gee was close be­hind in 18th.

Both the men’s and women’s road races were held on April 14, wrap­ping up the cy­cling events for 2018. Fore­man-Mackey was once again Canada’s top fin­isher, ar­riv­ing in 17th place, with Aus­tralian Chloe Hosk­ing win­ning gold for the home na­tion. In the men’s race, Fo­ley was the only Cana­dian fin­isher over the 168km course. It was tough field, filled with WorldTour rid­ers, yet Aus­tralian Steele Von Hoff won the sprint out of a se­lect group. Aus­tralia had an in­cred­i­bly suc­cess­ful cam­paign, win­ning ev­ery event in the road-cy­cling dis­ci­pline.

The mountain-bike event was on April 12, fea­tur­ing Cana­di­ans Emily Batty, Ha­ley Smith and Léan­dre Bouchard and held at the Nerang Mountain Bike Trails. The fast and flowy 4.6km course had few tech­ni­cal el­e­ments, but did feature a nar­row climb near the be­gin­ning of the race.

In the women’s six-lap, 27.6km event, Smith bat­tled back from a dif­fi­cult start to over­take team­mate Batty for the bronze. The English duo of Annie Last and Evie Richards dom­i­nated the race, tak­ing gold and sil­ver.

The men raced seven laps, cov­er­ing 32.2km. New Zealan­ders An­ton Cooper and Sam Gaze took an early lead, while Canada’s Bouchard got caught be­hind traf­fic on the first climb. Gaze took the win ahead of Cooper, and Bouchard would nar­rowly miss out on fifth place af­ter los­ing the sprint to Frazer Clacherty of Eng­land.

The Cana­dian cy­cling pro­gram wrapped up a suc­cess­ful 10 days of rac­ing with three bronze medals, plac­ing it sixth in cy­cling, and con­tribut­ing to Canada’s fourth place in the to­tal medal tally. The Com­mon­wealth Games will move to Birm­ing­ham, Eng­land for 2022.

Cana­dian women’s Team Pur­suit

Cana­dian men’s Team Pur­suit

Cana­dian men’s Team Sprint

Amelia Walsh

Lau­ri­ane Gen­est

Ha­ley Smith

Jay Lamoureux

Emily Batty

Annie For­man-Mackey

Léan­dre Bouchard

Women’s MTB XCO podium

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