He might have had his win streak snapped at three consecutive events, but after Friday’s penultimate round of the 2023 UCI Track Champions League in London, Dylan Bibic leads the men’s endurance category with one round remaining. His elimination race was disappointing, but he came runner-up in the scratch. Friday’s competition was the first of two rounds on consecutive days in England’s capital.
The Canadians’ Standings Before Friday
After four victories in the first three rounds, Dylan Bibic led the men’s endurance category by 26 points over Jules Hester of Belgium and 27 points over Japan’s Eiya Hashimoto. Mathias Guillemette was in seventh place. Sarah van Dam and Maggie Coles-Lyster went one-two in last week’s scratch race and sat seventh and fifth respectively in women’s endurance. Kelsey Mitchell was sixth in the women’s sprint category, while Lauriane Genest was 11th.
Mitchell and Genest would be the first Canadians up, as they faced the women’s sprint first round. In Heat 1, the Olympic champion couldn’t get past Britisher Katy Marchant, and in Heat 2 Genest found Colombian Martha Bayona and Ukrainian Alla Biletska too much to handle.
It was Bibic Time next in the men’s scratch. On Lap 5 of 20 a Brit got loose from the others but the field gelled again. The same Brit bounced away with an American soon after. Roy Eefting’s late solo attack gave the Dutchman the victory, and Bibic came past Claudio Imhof to take second.
Van Dam and Coles-Lyster dreamed of recreating their women’s scratch one-two last week in Paris, but two Brits and an American skipped away with 7 laps remaining and fought it out among themselves. Coles-Lyster was fifth and van Dam came 12th.
The men’s elimination race would not be kind to the Canadians. Two Dutchmen including Eefting were the first to feel the yank, but Guillemette was fourth to be pulled out and the sixth. However, Bibic leads Brit William Tidball by 16 points at the top of the table. Guillemette is 10th.
In the women’s keirin first round, Genest followed the derny first in Heat 1, unable to advance with third. Mitchell could only manage fourth out of six riders in Heat 3. Both Canadians fell in the overall sprint category.
Sarah and Maggie returned for the women’s elimination race. As in the men’s race, a Dutch rider was eliminated first. After two women got the hook, there was a huge crash in the middle of the field that…