Dylan Bibic has won races in the three consecutive rounds of the 2023 UCI Track Champions League. On Sunday’s third and middle round at the 2024 Olympic Games venue Vélodrome St-Quentin-en-Yvelines, 25 km west of the center of Paris, Bibic triumphed in both the scratch and the elimination competitions. Compatriot Mathias Guillemette came runner-up in the scratch, his best performance of the series so far. Their scratch one-two feat was repeated by Sarah van Dam, bagging her first victory of the season, and Maggie Coles-Lyster, both of them rising in women’s endurance category.
The Standings Before Saturday
Going into the middle round, Bibic was in second place in the men’s endurance category, three points adrift of Japan’s Eiya Hashimoto. Bibic won the elimination race in Spain and the scratch in Germany. After their runner-up spots in Berlin, Maggie Coles-Lyster sat fourth in the women’s endurance, while Sarah van Dam was sixth. Kelsey Mitchell was in fourth in the women’s sprint category.
Genest and Mitchell were the first Canucks to ride the Vélodrome St-Quentin-en-Yvelines boards on Saturday in the women’s individual sprint first round. Mitchell was matched up with Britisher Katy Marchant and Ukraine Alla Biletska. The Canadian was in the middle for the first lap. The Ukrainian went long, but Mitchell passed her on the outside on the final lap and then held off the Brit. In her heat Genest had the company of Lithuanian Migle Lendel and top-ranked Kiwi Ellesse Andrews. She led out on the inside all the way into the last lap but could not hold off her competitors.
In the women’s sprint semi-final, Mitchell drew German Alessa-Catriona Propster and Chinese rider Lijuan Wang. Mitchell sat on the back before suddenly swinging up the track. She grabbed a large gap heading into the final lap and then staved off any challenge. She would face Andrews in the final. The Olympic champion came off the rail and took her preferred second position, but she couldn’t push by the Kiwi.
Bibic and countryman Mathias Guillemette faced the 20-lap men’s scratch. For the first few laps the riders were content to take their pulls and swing up the track. With 11 laps to go, two Dutch riders and an Austrian inched away, but it was all sewn up after four circuits. It would be a bunch sprint with the Canadians throwing the bikes for the victory….