Canadian track cyclists won two races in the UCI Track Champions League’s debut at the Velòdrom Illes Balears in Mallorca, Spain on Saturday.
In the first of five rounds that will see atheltes accumulate points towards an overall final honour in each of four categories, Maggie Coles-Lyster of Maple Ridge, B.C., won the championship’s first-ever event by claiming the women’s scratch race.
She was followed by Olivija Baleisyte of Lithuania and Hanna Tserakh of Belarus in the 20-lap effort, shorter than the usual 60 laps.
Tokyo Olympic gold medallist Kelsey Mitchell followed up her teammates’s perfromance by winning the women’s keirin. The Sherwood Park, Alta., native sprinted to the victory after holding on to the back of the group of six riders to finish 0.066 seconds ahead of Germany’s Emma Hinze. Martha Bayona Pineda of Colombia finished third.
ICYMI 🇨🇦 athletes, <a href=”https://twitter.com/M_ColesLyster?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@M_ColesLyster</a> & <a href=”https://twitter.com/_kmmitchell?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@_kmmitchell</a> were unstoppable during the first day of <a href=”https://twitter.com/UCITCL?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@UCITCL</a> yesterday 🤜💥🤛<a href=”https://twitter.com/M_ColesLyster?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@M_ColesLyster</a> won the first 🥇 of the the League’s racing in the women’s Scratch Race, while <a href=”https://twitter.com/_kmmitchell?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@_kmmitchell</a> dominated in the women’s Keirin to win 🥇<br><br>📺 <a href=”https://twitter.com/cbcsports?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@cbcsports</a> <a href=”https://t.co/75aVw4rC0T”>pic.twitter.com/75aVw4rC0T</a>
In the sprint races, both Mitchell and fellow Canadian Lauriane Genest won their respective first-round heats. They made it to the semifinals but failed to qualify for the Mallorca sprint finals.
Iles-de-la-Madeleine, Que, native Hugo Barrette finished fifth in the men’s keirin final. He also competed in the sprint event. Coles-Lyster also competed in the women’s elimination race, finishing sixth.
New tournament, cumulative format
The brand new tournament will feature the world’s best cyclists in five rounds in different locations in November and December.
Germany’s Emma Hinze and Harrie Lavreysen of the Netherlands are leading the women’s and men’s sprint leagues, respectively.
Great Britain’s Katie Archibald and New Zealand’s Corbin Strong are first in the women’s and men’s endurance league.
The next UCI Track Champions League round will take place in Panevėžys, Lithuania on Nov. 27. London will host rounds three and four at the Lee Valley VeloPark on Nov. 3 and 4, a week before the season finale at the Sylvan Adams National Velodrome in Tel Aviv on Nov. 11.
WATCH l UCI Track Champions League: Mallorca: