Mitchell and Coles-Lyster are victorious at the UCI Track Champions League in Spain
Canadian cyclists got off to a strong start on the first day of competition at the UCI Track Cycling Champions League in Mallorca, Spain.
In Mallorca, the best track cyclists fought for the leader’s jersey in a competition that will take place over six rounds in various cities around the world in November and December. Every round of the inaugural season will feature the same race programme. Riders score points across the five rounds in either the Sprint or Endurance category. Each category has two different types of races in which competitors can accumulate points: Sprinters will race in both Sprint and Keirin while Endurance riders will race both Elimination and Scratch.
Maggie Coles-Lyster was the first Canadian of the day to finish on top, winning the first-ever Track Champions League’s race in the women’s scratch event. Olivija Baleisyte of Lithuania and Hanna Tserakh of Belarus finished in second and third respectfully. Unlike the usual 60 laps, competitors only had to complete 20 laps for this race.
Minutes later, Olympic sprint champion Kelsey Mitchell took first place in the women’s keirin. She held on to the back of the group of six sprinters throughout the race, accelerating at the end and take the honours. Germany’s Emma Hinze finished in second position with just a time difference of 0.066 seconds and Martha Bayona Pineda of Colombia finished in third place.
Mitchell then came back strong to win her first-round heat of the sprint race. Matching Mitchell’s result, Lauriane Genest cycled in the following first round heat race and won it easily. The two Canadians advanced to the semi-finals, but neither qualified for the final.
In October, Mitchell won her first career world championship medal, taking bronze in the women’s sprint event at the UCI Track Cycling World Championships in Roubaix, France. Additionally, this summer at Tokyo 2020, she also added Olympic gold medallist to her impressive resume – becoming just the second Canadian track cyclist to win gold at the Olympics.
Coles-Lyster also competed in the women’s elimination race, finishing in sixth position overall. On the men’s side, Hugo Barrette competed in the men’s sprint and keirin events. He finished in fifth position during the keirin final.