The Canadian squad, including Joseph Veloce of Fonthill, rose to the challenge in the Men’s Team Sprint at the 2012 UCI Pan-American Championships in Mar Del Plata, Argentina, winning the silver medal on March 2 to open the critical event for Canada’s Track Cycling Team.
The trio of Travis Smith of Calgary, AB, Hugo Barrette of Cap-Aux-Meules, QC, and Veloce qualified for the gold medal race after beating in the morning qualifications, and went on to face the United States of American in the evening.
As Travis Smith explains, the United States was pushed to the limit to win the gold. “We finished second. All of us improved our times, but the American second rider had the ride of his life tonight to help the Americans win. In our first ride it was so windy I was just struggling my whole last lap, but the final I went down a gear and felt much better.”
In the bronze medal match, Argentina edged to the finish line Canada’s main rivals in the hunt for the last Olympic spot, Venezuela, who placed fourth.
Heather Moyse of Summerside, PEI, who suited up for Canada for the first time in a cycling race, also rose to the occasion and proved that she was a contender among an international field. Moyse posted the fourth fastest time of the 500m Time Trial at 36.207 seconds. Cuba’s Guerra Lisandra was the fastest by posting a time of 34.601 seconds.