Canada claims first-ever World Cup men's team pursuit gold

Canadians top Belgium by more than four seconds in the final round

Team Canada claimed it's first-ever World Cup team pursuit gold medal Saturday in Apeldoorn, Netherlands, coming from behind in the final round to beat Belgium into silver by more than four seconds. Canada also now moves into the World Cup overall lead after finishing third in the first round.

The Canadian crew of Aidan Caves, Adam Jamieson, Jay Lamoureux and Bayley Simpson dug a hole to the Belgians over the first 3,000 metres but then slowly started digging their way out. The Belgian team slowed dramatically in the final 1,000 metres, while Canada had its fastest split of the race to win with a time of 4:02.144. France won the bronze medal over Poland.

"We've got five guys here who can execute, so we are using everyone to have some fresh legs for each ride," Simpson said. "This was my first trip with the team, and the first ride I got to do was in Glasgow for the bronze medal. It was nerve-wracking but we executed it that day and then we were able to come here and do it again. I can't even put it into words, really. The time was good; we looked at the past times here when the world championships were here in 2011 and the winning team was a high 4:01, so we are pretty happy with our time."

Caves said it was a "crazy" day.

"It's actually been a pretty crazy month since Nationals, probably one of the best ever," he said. "We were aware that [Belgium] were probably going to go out hot, but we didn't panic, because we all knew that we were the stronger team. We knew that if we stayed strong that we have consistently had a faster final Kilo than most of the other teams, so that's what we focussed on; to come back from the little bit they were up on us. It worked out pretty well to plan."

Canadian national men's endurance coach Ian Melvin said the plan so far had worked out well heading into World Cup III next month in Cali, Colombia, February 17-19.

"Our plan for the first two World Cups was to have a clean run," Melvin said. "We wanted to get the points to qualify for Worlds so we didn't have to depend on Cali."

Canada now leads the overall standings with 1,800 points, followed by Round 1 winner Great Britain at 1,700 and France, also with 1,700 points.

 

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