Canadian Track Nationals Clean Sweep for Derek Gee
Emerging New Talent Challenges Top Performers
he 2017 Canadian Track Championships were held Sept. 28Oct. 1 at the indoor 250-metre Mattamy National Cycling Centre Velodrome for the fourth consecutive year, and the momentum around the facility continues to grow. This year’s Championships were marked by the emergence of young talent vying to usurp some of Canada’s top international performers in nearly every discipline and saw some exciting new faces win their first National titles.
Second-year senior Derek Gee (Team RaceClean) from Ottawa, Ont. was the revelation of the Championships, winning a clean sweep of four titles: Omnium, Madison, Individual and Team Pursuit.
Gee was joined on the Omnium podium by National team stalwart Ed Veal (Real Deal Racing) and Emile De Rosnay, a veteran of the West Coast track-cycling scene who had last medalled at the Canadian Championships in 2008. The Championships marked the first time that the Omnium was held under its new format, having seen a significant change to its program last season when all of the timed events were removed and the Tempo added to the schedule.
In the individual Pursuit, Gee faced off against the versatile Ryan Roth (Silber Pro Cycling) in the gold-medal final, while Adam Roberge (QC) won over Evan Burtnik (Team RaceClean) in the bronze-medal final.
Hugo Barrette confirmed that he is the current king of sprinting in Canada, as he also swept the sprint events, leading a dominant Quebec team, which not only won the Team sprint, but also swept a crash-marred Keirin final. Barrette won the Match sprint competition over Joel Archambault, while Ontario’s Je’Land Sydney (FCV) took the bronze medal over Patrice St-Louis Pivin (QC). Sydney represented Canada earlier this season at the Junior World Championships in Italy.
Adam Attwell (BC) took the National Kilo title ahead of Veal and Adam Reddy (BC). In the men’s Madison, Gee would partner with RaceClean teammate Burtnik to take the gold ahead of the elder statesmen team of Veal and De Rosnay, with Team Quebec (Lachance/Kirouac Marcassa) finishing third.
The women’s Team Pursuit highlighted some of the depth that has developed in Canada over the past two Olympic cycles. In a tightly contested gold-medal final, the core National World Cup team of Allison Beveridge, Laura Brown, Annie-Foreman Mackey and Jasmine Duehring joined forces with Rally Pro rider Katherine Maine to narrowly edge out a hard-charging Cyclery-4iiii’s team by just two seconds. The Cyclery-4iiii team was composed of Next Gen-program riders Kinley Gibson, Ariane Bonhomme, Sara Giovenetti and Laurie Jussaume.
The Omnium was poised to see a battle between riders from these top women’s squads, and the Cyclery-4iiii team put the rest of the field on their back foot with a 1-2 finish in the Scratch race, courtesy of Gibson and Bonhomme. Veteran Beveridge (Rally Pro Cycling) from Alberta demonstrated her fantastic bike skills in the Elimination race with a win over Bonhomme. Not to be forgotten, B.C.’s Duehring (TWENTY20 Pro Cycling) laid down an impressive solo effort to dominate the Tempo event.
Going into the final Points race, Duehring and Bonhomme were tied for first place. Disaster struck on the very first sprint for points when both riders where taken down in a massive crash. While Duehring was eventually able to re-join the race, she lost two laps in the process (riders are allotted five laps to service mechanicals after a crash), and Bonhomme faired worse, cracking her bike in three pieces and suffering a mild concussion.
In the end, Beveridge was able to use her sprinting prowess to overcome a significant points deficit and grab the gold over Gibson, while Ontario’s Foreman-Mackey (TWENTY20 Pro Cycling) won the bronze.
Gibson defended her Individual Pursuit crown, claiming her third senior title in the process. She faced off against a stunning Jussaume (QC) in the gold-medal final. Jussaume, who finished an impressive sixth at this year’s Junior World Championships, put in a shocking performance to win the silver. Foreman-Mackey took home the bronze ahead of Marie Soleil-Blais (QC).
The sprint events saw a power vacuum this year with the retirement of two-time Olympian Monique Sullivan and the tragic injury of Kate O’Brien. With Amelia Walsh out of the Championships suffering a minor injury, there was new crop of National champions. Unheralded Équipe Québec rider Lauriane Genest rode a stunning 500-metre time of 35.33 to take the title over B.C.’s Tegan Cochrane, with Beveridge in third.
Cochrane got vengeance in the Match sprints, taking the final two straight over Genest, while Lizanne Wilmott (NCCH) claimed the bronze. Cochrane made it 2-1 with a win in the Keirin over Genest. Ontario junior National team rider Charlotte Creswick crossed the line third, but was relegated, awarding Jenna Nestman (BC) the bronze medal.
The final women’s event of the Championships was the inaugural women’s Madison, which was won by Team RaceClean (Duehring/ Beveridge) ahead of the TWENTY20 (Foreman-Mackey/Brown) and Cyclery-4iiii (Gibson/Jussaume).
The Master’s Championships were held in conjunction with the Elite event and saw large fields – especially in the track-capacity-sized Master D men. Notable highlights were Ontario’s Candice Moote’s domination of the women’s events and Alberta’s Cameron Macleod winning the Master A men’s kilo with a 1:06.4 – a time that would have seen him win the Elite title outright, not just the Masters event. Many riders in the Masters field were using the event as a tune-up for the upcoming Masters World Championships to be held in Los Angeles, Calif.
Derek Gee was the revelation of the Championships, winning a clean sweep of four titles.