Victoria’s riders Erin Attwell and Sarah Van Dam are part of a Canadian team of 16 athletes in Roubaix
Victoria’s riders Erin Attwell and Sarah Van Dam have shown they are ready to knock on the door of the 2024 Paris Olympics with a fourth place finish on the Canadian women’s pursuit team at the 2021 UCI Track Cycling World Championships in Roubaix, France.
The Canadian team, gold medalists last month at the Nations Cup in Cali, Colombia, fell to a place on the world championship podium when they lost to Great Britain in the medal final bronze Sunday. The Canadian quartet included British Columbians Attwell, Van Dam and Maggie Coles-Lyster of Langley, a regular competitor in Island cycling races.
Canadian Olympic medalists Tokyo, sprint champion Kelsey Mitchell and keirin bronze medalist Lauriane Genest, continued their form with Mitchell winning world sprint bronze and Genest fourth. Mitchell was fifth in the keirin and fifth in the team sprint with Genest and Sarah Orban. Coles-Lyster finished fourth in the women’s scratch race to give Canada six top-five finishes at the world championships.
Canada sent a team of 16 runners to the World Track Championships in Roubaix.
“We’ve had some really good world championships because we still have a very young team,” Cycling Canada track sprint coach Franck Durivaux said in a statement.
“The athletes were able to achieve results that allowed them to do even more against the best in the world and we will continue to work with the development group in Milton. [Ontario] to prepare them for the next Olympic Games campaign. This will be the next really big part for the next season. “
Next year also includes the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England.
The national track velodrome in Milton, Ont., Built for the Toronto 2015 Pan Am Games and referred to by Durivaux, is home to the national team. But the 1994 Victoria Commonwealth Games Velodrome in Colwood, now known as the Westshore Velodrome, also continues to bear fruit for Canadian track cycling. Attwell, 22, and Van Dam, 20, are just the last internationals to emerge from the facility, which was only saved from destruction a few years ago by a determined effort from the cycling community of the island to keep it running.
Island cyclists who made their debut on Colwood’s concrete outdoor track include Attwell, Van Dam, London 2012 Olympics bronze medalist Gillian Carleton, Toronto 2015 Pan American Games gold medalist Evan Carey and Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games bronze medalist and Tokyo Olympics top five-rider Jay Lamoureux.