12 Medals for Canada at Pan Am Track Cham­pi­onships

2017 Pan Amer­i­can Track Cham­pi­onships

Pedal Magazine - - Contents - by Chris Reid

eld at the newly con­structed Na­tional Cy­cling Cen­tre in Couva, Trinidad and Tobago, the Pan Am Track Cy­cling Cham­pi­onships on Aug. 30-Sept. 3 hosted a ban­ner per­for­mance by the Cana­dian team as they start to re­build af­ter the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Canada fin­ished sec­ond in the medals’ ta­ble, tied with the U.S. with 12 medals apiece, but win­ning five gold medals ver­sus seven for the Amer­i­cans.

The tour­na­ment started with a bang for Canada, as both Team Pur­suit squads crushed the field, win­ning both ti­tles. The women (Kin­ley Gib­son, Ari­anne Bon­homme, De­vaney Col­lier and Meghan Grant) fin­ished ahead of Mex­ico and Cuba, while the Cana­dian men (Ai­dan Caves, Jay Lamoureux, Derek Gee and Bay­ley Simp­son) beat a resur­gent Amer­i­can team for gold, while Chile took the bronze. It’s worth not­ing that the Amer­i­can team was com­posed of some of the top do­mes­tic tal­ent, in­clud­ing Tour of Utah stage win­ner Eric Young. For the women, this was the first ma­jor win by an en­tirely Nex­tGen-mem­ber ros­ter – a key step in Canada re­tain­ing its po­si­tion in­ter­na­tion­ally.


The lone male sprinter for Canada at the event was Hugo Bar­rette, and he didn’t dis­ap­point, win­ning the Match sprint com­pe­ti­tion and fin­ish­ing sec­ond in the Keirin. Bar­rette bat­tled Fabian Puerta of Colom­bia in both events, with Puerta tak­ing home the win in the Keirin. Un­sung cy­clist Jair Tjon En Fa of Suri­name took home the bronze in the sprint com­pe­ti­tion.

The Cana­dian men trans­ferred their Team Pur­suit dom­i­nance to yet an­other event, with Gee and Lamoureaux qual­i­fy­ing first and sec­ond in the In­di­vid­ual Pur­suit. Un­for­tu­nately, Lamoureaux did not get to contest the gold-medal fi­nal against his team­mate, as he broke his col­lar­bone in an ugly crash in the men’s Points race im­me­di­ately prior to the Pur­suit finals, leav­ing Gee un­con­tested for the win. The Points race was won by the U.S.A.’s Young.

The men’s Om­nium was a wild af­fair with con­fu­sion dur­ing the fi­nal race of the event, as the elec­tronic score­board was show­ing in­ac­cu­rate re­sults for much of the race. Thank­fully Team Canada’s coach­ing staff was video­ing the en­tire event for re­view, and of­fi­cials lit­er­ally had to re-watch and re-score the en­tire Points race for more than an hour af­ter the event’s con­clu­sion to de­ter­mine the cor­rect re­sults. When the dust set­tled, Caves of B.C. took the sil­ver be­hind Ig­na­cio Prado of Mex­ico and ahead of bronze medal­ist Thomas Praddo of Ar­gentina. While Caves was the de­fend­ing cham­pion in this event, it’s worth not­ing that the for­mat is re­mark­ably dif­fer­ent from the event he won last year, as all of the in­di­vid­ual timed races have been re­moved from the sched­ule.

Caves’ golden streak was short-lived how­ever, as he was brought down in a heavy crash in the men’s Madi­son event, which was won by the Amer­i­can team of Zachary Ko­val­cik and Zachary Carl­son, ahead of the peren­ni­ally strong Ar­gen­tini­ans and Colom­bians.

Lo­cal fans were given some­thing to cheer about as the Trinidad and Tobago Team sprint squad fin­ished sec­ond be­hind Colom­bia and ahead of Ar­gentina. Trinidad added a sec­ond medal with a bronze, as Quincy Alexan­der fin­ished third in the Kilo, which was won by fast­man Puerta of Colom­bia.


If there was an in­di­vid­ual stand­out in the women’s field, it was Amer­i­can Jen­nifer Va­lente, who took home the gold in the Om­nium, Scratch and Points race events. In do­ing so, she made a sig­nif­i­cant dif­fer­ence in as­sist­ing the Amer­i­cans at top­ping the medal stand­ings. Yet Canada put up a strong fight, as Steph Ro­orda took the bronze medal in the Points race, while com­pa­triot Al­li­son Bev­eridge re­peated that re­sult in the Scratch race. Bev­eridge also com­peted in a hotly con­tested Om­nium, where she fin­ished fourth.

How­ever Bev­eridge and Ro­orda showed the depth of the Cana­dian pro­gram in win­ning the Om­nium ahead of the Amer­i­can duo of Kim­berly Geist

and Kim­berly Zubris. The bronze medal went to the Mex­i­can pair­ing of Mayra Rocha and Sofia Arre­ola, who is team­mate of Ro­orda on TWENTY20 Pro team.

A hor­rific train­ing ac­ci­dent suf­fered by Kate O’Brien meant that Amelia Walsh was Canada’s lone sprinter at this tour­na­ment. It was a bap­tism of fire for the cross­over BMX ath­lete but valu­able ex­pe­ri­ence, as she be­gins her tran­si­tion into in­ter­na­tional track com­pe­ti­tion. Walsh com­bined forces with the ver­sa­tile Ro­orda to take home a sil­ver medal in the Team sprint be­hind the Amer­i­can team of Mada­lyn Godby and Mandy Mar­quardt.

Nex­tGen En­durance Pro­gram mem­ber Col­lier jumped at the op­por­tu­nity to ride in the women’s Keirin. The young En­durance rider (a for­mer Ju­nior Worlds sil­ver medal­ist) turned heads, mak­ing the gold-medal fi­nal and fin­ish­ing fifth. Coun­try­woman Walsh fin­ished 12th in the 7-12th fi­nal.

The Cham­pi­onships were a re­mark­able suc­cess for the Cana­dian pro­gram, es­pe­cially given the num­ber of young or de­vel­op­ing rid­ers who were given the op­por­tu­nity to com­pete.

“These past Pan Am Cham­pi­onships in Trinidad and Tobago have yielded some of our great­est re­sults since we’ve started par­tic­i­pat­ing in the Con­ti­nen­tal Cham­pi­onships dur­ing the London Olympic Qua­dren­nial,” com­mented Jac­ques Landry, Chief Tech­ni­cal Of­fi­cer and head coach for Cy­cling Canada.

“For our track pro­gram, it is al­ways hard to strike a bal­ance be­tween per­form­ing at the Cham­pi­onships to qual­ify for World Cham­pi­onships and of­fer­ing this event to some of our De­vel­op­ment Per­for­mance Pool ath­letes for de­vel­op­ment pur­poses. I think we’ve achieved this bal­ance at these Pan Amer­i­can Track

Cy­cling Cham­pi­onships.”

Steph Ro­orda and Al­li­son Bev­eridge showed the depth of the Cana­dian pro­gram in win­ning the women’s Om­nium.

(l-r): Jay Lamoureux, Ai­dan Caves, Ian Melvin (NexGen coach),Derek Gee and Bay­ley Simp­son

Cana­dian women’s Team Pur­suit

Amelia Walsh and Steph Ro­orda took home a sil­ver medal in the Team Sprint.

Hugo Bar­rette won the men’s Match sprint and fin­ished sec­ond in the Keirin.

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