The final round of the 2019-2020 Tissot UCI Track Cycling World Cup brought the thrilling six-round series to an end with a blistering weekend of action at the Mattamy National Cycling Centre in Milton, Canada.
Going into the final round, Poland was leading the overall UCI World Cup standings from the Russian Federation and New Zealand – neither of whom travelled to Canada – leaving scope for Germany, Great Britain, The Netherlands and France to score points and impose themselves further up the standings. Here’s how each event was won…
Team pursuit: Gold for France and USA; double bronze for Canada
In Friday’s Women’s team pursuit, Team USA (triple UCI World Champions Jennifer Valente, Chloe Dygert, Emma White and Lily Williams) repeated their feat of the first round in Minsk (Belarus) by taking gold in Milton. This time from France. Canada’s quartet took the bronze medal by overhauling Belgium: it was the Canadian women’s third bronze of this season following Cambridge and Brisbane.
In the Men’s team pursuit, the French quartet of Benjamin Thomas, Thomas Denis, Corentin Ermenault and Valentin Tabellion overhauled their Italian counterparts in the final for their first World Cup team pursuit victory of the season. Canada’s men emulated their female teammates to claim bronze, in a thrilling race against Belarus.
Team Sprint: Canada and France take gold!
In the Women’s team sprint on Friday, host nation Canada then took gold with the pair of Lauriane Genest and Kelsey Mitchell beating the Polish duo of Marlena Karwacka and Urszula Łoś by less than 0.3 sec. Lithuania came from behind at half distance to narrowly beat the fastest qualifiers Mexico in the bronze medal ride. It was the perfect end to a tremendously exciting first full day for the partisan crowd who were there to see Canadian riders take three medals.
In Saturday’s Men’s team sprint, fastest qualifiers France eventually beat second fastest qualifiers Poland by a comfortable margin after a final that saw Poland sneak an advantage at the halfway point. Florian Grengbo, Quentin Lafargue, and former BMX racer Quentin Caleyron held their nerve to take the win. In the bronze race the People's Republic of China trio maintained a slender margin over Germany from start to finish to take the medal.
Madison: Wins for Britain and the Netherlands
In the Women’s 30km Madison final on Saturday, the British pair of Laura Kenny (multiple UCI World Champion and four-time Olympic Champion) and Neah Evans won Madison gold ahead of Belgium (2017 UCI World Champion Jolien D’hoore and Lotte Kopecky, winners in New Zealand) in second place, with the USA third and Italy fourth.
But in Sunday evening’s Men’s 50km Madison final, after a close early competition between the Netherlands and Great Britain, it was the Oranje pair of Jan Willem van Schip and Yoeri Havik who rode away from Ethan Hayer and Oliver Wood to win clearly with 76 points to 50. France took third place with 38 points from USA in fourth. Italy’s consistency across the six rounds see them top the overall standings with 1825 points.
Keirin: Germany and the Netherlands hit top spots
In Saturday’s Men’s keirin final Germany’s Joachim Eilers (2016 UCI World Champion in the speciality) took the win from Kevin Santiago Quintero Chavarro of Colombia (winner in Brisbane) in second, Poland’s Rafal Sarnecki, third and Vasilijus Lendel of Lithuania. Each of the six World Cup rounds has seen the Men’s keirin final won by riders from different nations.
After the 7-11 final, where Canada's Lauriane Genest powered away in the final lap and saluted the crowd, the Women’s keirin main final got underway. It was the Netherlands’ Laurine van Riessen who claimed her first gold of the meeting, showing her class to pull clear of Helena Casas Roige of Spain and USA's Madalyn Godby, while 2018 World Champion Nicky Degrendele faded to fourth.
Omnium: USA and the Netherlands show strength
In the Men’s Omnium, Jan Willem van Schip (the Netherlands) took gold with one win (Tempo race) and second places in all the other three races to score 150 points. Second was Poland’s Daniel Staniszewski (137 points, winner of the points race) and the USA’s Gavin Hoover (134 points, placed in the top four in all four races). Britain’s Ethan Hayter fourth on 121 points.
In the Women’s Omnium across Sunday Britain’s Laura Kenny led early, tussling with Ireland's Emily Kay, but after the Briton crashed in the Tempo race and retired, the USA’s Jennifer Valente imposed herself on the day’s competition, winning the Elimination race to take the overall lead. The American stayed strong in the points race to consolidate her position, winning in Milton with 134 points (and finishing the UCI World Cup overall with 1950 points) from Letizia Paternoster of Italy (second on 114 points) and Kay on 102 points.
Sprint: the Netherlands and Poland finish in style
In Saturday night racing, the three-lap Women’s sprint finale, the former speed skater and second faster qualifier Laurine van Riessen (the Netherlands) ignored the Canadian crowd’s cheers and took her second gold, winning in two straight matches against the former soccer player and faster qualifier Kelsey Mitchell (Canada). Maddie Godby (USA) won the bronze medal from Mathilde Gros (France).
In the Men’s sprint final, after defeating one Frenchman, Ryan Helal, in the semi-finals, Mateusz Rudyk of Poland – winner of Rounds IV and V, in the absence of Dutch UCI World Champion Harrie Lavreysen – took on another, Quentin Caleyron, in the final. The favourite used his power to make the 2-0 win look comfortable, ending the UCI World Cup overall with 2600 points. Helal floated away from Law Tsz Chun of Hong Kong to win the bronze race by the same score.
That’s it for the 2019-2020 Tissot UCI Track Cycling World Cup. You can see the full updated Nation and Individual Rankings here – https://www.uci.org/track/rankings – including Olympic qualification rankings. But before we look too far ahead, keep your eyes on the continued action in Canada as the 2020 UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships starts in Milton on Thursday 30 January.