The racing started today with the men’s Team Sprint. This morning our boys (Travis Smith, Joseph Veloce, and Stephane Cossette) qualified for the bronze medal final tonight against Venezuela. Important to note is Stephane Cossette who recovered from an injury not three months ago to make it back onto the team.
We are all happy to see him back on the team again so soon, especially with the younger riders, Hugo Barrette, Scott Mulder, and Tom Hums nipping at his heels. We’ve got five strong sprint boys here and the next year is going to be exciting as they all fight for the three Team Sprint spots. Travis commented, “It’s good to be fighting for a medal after the set backs we’ve had this year. We are all looking forward to the summer of training and coming back stronger than ever next fall.”
Our trip has been good so far, all the basics have been covered, a nice hotel, food, transportation and a good supply of chocolate milk. We are lucky to have three staff members with us, in the past we’ve only had one or two with twice the number of riders and it is great to have our trusted mechanic Sandy Gilchrist, our new physiologist Mike Patton, and sprint coach Adam Duvendeck.
The track is a nice outdoor concrete facility. After a winter of riding on smooth wood tracks, the concrete feels very different. It’s slower to accelerate, but because we’re at 1,500m and it’s hot, we should still see some fast times.
The Pan Am championships are a very big competition for Canada because it is the last chance to collect Olympic points for this season. For many of the South American teams it is their biggest race of the year and we are going to see them on their very best form. I’m looking forward to the racing.