Melton, Ont.; Running a bicycle is painful. Suffering all day to finish second is the hardest.
That’s what Kelsey Mitchell witnessed in the Nations Cup singles race in Milton on Friday, when she lost in the Grand Final to two-time world champion, German Emma Haines.
“It’s a sport. I qualified the quickest, which is always exciting, but it doesn’t give you the gold in the end,” she summed up Albertan and the reigning Olympic champion in discipline. (Emma) is a great cyclist; her tactics are very strong and she can maintain her quick bursts to the finish line. I only came short. I will learn from all this.”
And when Mitchell said she was chosen, she couldn’t have said it better. The German won the final in two sets, outselling the Canadian by no more than half a wheel in total.
“I want it to hurt my opponents! But today, Mitchell, I didn’t have the right gaps with her,” analyzed Mitchell, this season’s UCI sprint classification leader.
In the mini final, Quebec’s Lorient Genest had to gain second place, having been defeated in two sets by Colombian Martha Bayona Pineda, to finish off the podium.
Genest came sixth in Glasgow, fourth at the last World Championships, and eighth in Tokyo. This is her first medal round on the Nations Cup circuit, but the disappointment was huge for the Levis cyclist.
“Overall, the day went well, but it was disappointing to finish fourth. It was a beautiful effort, well executed,” she said with a trembling voice and tears in her eyes. It’s a long day, I think there is a buildup of fatigue. Seeing Kelsey on the podium also made me feel With passion.”
Genest seemed to be in control in the first race, but the Colombian passed her in the last 50 meters to get past the wire half-wheel in front of her.
Bayona Pineda didn’t wait for Genest to set the pace in the next round. The attack was launched at the beginning of the third and final lap. Genest gave her everything, but couldn’t catch her opponent, who finished half a bike ahead of Quebec.
“I didn’t have legs today,” admitted Jenst, who will compete at Keren on Sunday, like Mitchell. Tactically, I did nothing wrong. If I had my legs, I would have crossed the line. On the last effort, I felt like I didn’t have the day. (…) It is currently painful, but I think it will help me in the long run.
Guillemette at the foot of the platform
After 17th place in Glasgow, Matthias Gillimet was not necessarily expected in the elimination race. But 20-year-old Trivlovian adopted a new attitude and new tactics that saw him reach the podium.
“In Glasgow it didn’t go well, I made mistakes. Yesterday I spent three hours watching the elimination races to learn tactics and not make mistakes today. It paid off, I think.
“I start at the back of the peloton, because I don’t have a lot of points. So I wanted to get to the top of the peloton quickly and ride flat the whole time so I was never in danger. I wanted to give 100% all the sweat, not conserving energy.”
It might seem counterintuitive as his angle of attack: this lost energy made him miss the stage.
“When I conserve my energy, that was when I was eliminated,” he explained. You don’t learn when you get fired. Only a little was missing; That’s the secret to having those little ounces of energy left. it will happen.”
Among the ladies, Sarah Van Damme fought hard for the leaders, but had to settle for sixth.
Bonhomme and Desgagnés gain experience
In the solo quest, Canadians Ariane Bonhomme and Adele Dejans finished qualifying.
Bonhomme and Desgagnés ranked sixth and seventh, respectively. Only the top four cyclists received their permit.
The Canadian team had no goal for this discipline, which is not included in the Olympic program, but is contested at the World Cup.
Cycling Canada’s Director of High Performance, Chris Westwood, explained: “The primary goal was to allow them to gain experience at this level of competition and position themselves on the international stage. They would be able to continue to advance in this discipline and potentially participate in the World Championships. Experience on the international stage is not a bad thing at all.”
Australian Maeve Plouffe won the final, which was held this evening, beating Italians Vittoria Bossi and Silvia Zanardi.
At ground zero, Alberta’s Nejer Barakloff finished 16th. The 19-year-old cyclist led the race briefly in the second half of the competition, but was quickly relegated to the back of the group when the big guns started to thunder.
The world champion, Italian Martina Fidanza, also won, ahead of Dutchman Lonke Onken and American Lily Williams.
On the men’s front, Alberta’s Jackson Kenneburg finished 10th. Britain’s Rhys Britton, who won bronze at the last world championships, Spain’s Eric Martorell Hara and Italy’s Mattia Benazzi, climbed to the podium.