Talk about starting the season off right. Cycling Canada‘s women had a three-medal weekend at the opening UCI Track Cycling World Cup of 2013-14 in Manchester, England. Contributing to two of those medals was Gillian Carleton, giving her Athlete of the Week honours.
First up was a silver medal in the team pursuit, an event that has seen a format change since Canada won bronze at London 2012. Instead of three riders covering a distance of 3000m, the women’s event now matches the men’s, with four riders over 4000m.
Carleton and Jasmin Glaesser, who were members of the Olympic medal-winning squad, were joined on the podium in Manchester by Laura Brown and Stephanie Roorda.
The Canadian team set national records in both qualifying and the final, finishing second to Great Britain who twice broke the world record.
Carleton also captured silver in the gruelling six-race omnium. She posted a victory in the flying lap before finishing sixth in the points race and fourth in the elimination race to hold the overnight lead. Carleton opened the second day with a win in the individual pursuit before finishing ninth in the scratch race to drop to second place overall. She closed the competition by finishing third in the time trial to claim the silver medal behind Great Britain’s Laura Trott, the reigning Olympic champion in the omnium.
Carleton continues a Canadian tradition of success in the omnium, following in the footsteps of Tara Whitten, the 2010 and 2011 world champion.
Many in the cycling community were just happy to see Carleton back competing on the international scene. In August, Carleton opened up about her ongoing battle with depression. She took a break from the road cycling season to start a mental health treatment program so that she would be ready to compete for the podium during this track cycling season.
Canada’s third medal in Manchester came from Brown who took gold in the standalone points race, an event that is not on the Olympic program.