Weekend Roundup: Mitchell and more Canadian cycling stars shine on the track and the road
Team Canada cyclists were at work on the wheels this weekend, excelling on both the track and the road.
At the UCI Track Nations Cup in Milton, Ontario, the home fans witnessed three Canadian podium performances. There were also multiple medals won by Canadians at the Pan American Road Cycling Championships in Panama.
Here’s a look at what you may have missed:
Track Cycling: Double medal weekend for Mitchell 💪
Olympic champion Kelsey Mitchell had one last turn in the tank to secure a victory on home turf. Her come-from-behind victory over Colombia’s Bayona Pineda in the women’s sprint earned Canada’s track cycling team its first gold medal of the Nations Cup season.
“I am so happy with my result. I know I’m not at my best so I had to race more tactically than normal,” said Mitchell. “Normally, I just power through it and rely on my athletic abilities to win the races. But I really think I learned a lot and used the track properly. I want to take this momentum in the training block going forward and into Worlds to hopefully get more points for Olympic qualifying.”
Who better than Mitchell to make the breakthrough? Her win on Saturday was her second podium appearance in as many days. On Friday she was joined by Lauriane Genest and Sarah Orban in the women’s team sprint. After a crucial win against Team China in the first round, the trio were defeated by a poised Mexico squad by just 0.413 of a second in the final to earn a hard-fought silver.
It was also on Friday that the women’s team pursuit squad of Sarah Van Dam, Maggie Coles-Lyster, Ariane Bonhomme and Erin Attwell raced to bronze, after beating the United States in a head-to-head showdown. It was the first time that quartet had competed together.
“This gives us confidence. We’re a new team and since the Tokyo Games, we’ve been trying to rebuild our program,” commented Bonhomme. “We knew we were capable of doing this but everything needed to come together on race day. We’ve been trying for more than a year and today everything worked out. We know that this is the start of something special.”
Genest almost reached the podium in the women’s keirin. She running in second place in the final, but unfortunately couldn’t hold her line in the last 200 metres and was relegated to fifth place. Mitchell ended up in seventh place. Coles-Lyster had her own seventh place finish in the women’s omnium.
On the men’s side, James Hedgcock, Tyler Rorke, and Nick Wammes raced to a fourth-place finish in the team sprint for their best result of the season. Hedgcock was also just off the podium in the men’s keirin, missing the bronze by 0.036 of a second. Wammes was eliminated in the quarterfinals of the men’s sprint, placing fifth. Mathias Guillmette, Caron Mattern, Dylan Bibic, and Michael Foley also placed fifth in the team pursuit, just missing out on advancing to the bronze medal final.
The next major event for Canadian track cyclists will be the UCI World Championships in early August.
Road Cycling: Medals of every shade at Pan Am Championships
It was a banner week for Canadians at the Pan American Road Cycling Championships in Panama.
Alison Jackson came away from the event with two medals. After earning bronze in the women’s individual time trial on Tuesday, she captured silver in the 102.4km road race on Saturday. Those were her second and third podium finishes in the month of April, following her historic victory at Paris-Roubaix Femmes on the UCI Women’s World Tour.
Two Canadians graced the podium after the nearly five-hour road race on the men’s side. Pier-André Côté was victorious, crossing the finish line first, just ahead of bronze medallist teammate Charles-Etienne Chretien.
On the UCI World Tour, Michael Woods finished fourth in La Flèche Wallonne one-day race on Wednesday. He had hoped that would set him up well for the classic Liège-Bastogne-Liège on Sunday, but Woods ended up 12th in the oldest of road cycling’s monuments.
Golf: Hadwin & Taylor have a record-setting Sunday
A big move on Sunday saw Adam Hadwin and Nick Taylor finish second at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans. The Canadian duo leapt 11 spots in the standings with a final round nine-under 63. That tied the tournament’s record for alternate shot play.
Hadwin and Taylor, who both hail from Abbotsford, B.C., put up seven straight birdies starting on the seventh hole. They had gone into the final round tied for 13th, seven shots off the lead.
Curling: Canada on a roll at mixed doubles worlds
Jennifer Jones and Brent Laing are tied atop Group A at the World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship after the first three days of play. The couple have a 4-1 record. They opened with an impressive 8-4 victory over Scotland, represented by Bruce Moat and Jennifer Dodds who were world champions in 2021. Moat just recently skipped his four-person team to gold at the World Men’s Curling Championship.
Jones and Laing followed up with a 10-5 win over the Netherlands, but then dropped their lone match on Sunday, losing 7-4 to Estonia. But they got right back to their winning ways, taking down Italy 8-4 and Australia 11-6. One half of the Italian team — Stefania Constantini — won gold at Beijing 2022. Round robin play will continue through Thursday.