The 28-year-old Albertan will headline the Canadian team at the Nations Cup that opens Thursday at the Milton Velodrome in suburban Toronto. A first time for Mitchell to find his people at the dawn of his second Olympic cycle.
The Olympic Games are clearly huge, and I believe many have discovered our sport and learned to love it a little more, he emphasizes. To be able to present an event this big in Canada and have the opportunity to race in front of our families and friends is incredible.
Just three years after his national team debut, Albertan was dazzled at the Izu Velodrome in the summer of 2021. He only became the second Canadian to win an Olympic track title, after Lori -Ann Muenzer, in 2004.
His gold medal at the Tokyo Games in the individual speed event propelled him, and even now, he is amazed at the enthusiasm he was able to evoke.
” My social networks exploded with this metal detector story [à l’aéroport de Tokyo]and I’m glad people are entitled to that aspect of myself. »
The support was really amazing, he remembers. I love this sport, I practice it every day and I know what I’m doing, and some people, who have never heard or seen track cycling before, will come up to me and tell me that my career tactics are the best of the latter.
Mitchell, who won bronze in the women’s sprint at the 2021 worlds, started the season on high marks as she currently leads the world in the event. In the first of three stages of the Nations Cup, in Glasgow, Scotland, on April 24, she won gold in the individual sprint, in addition to adding a silver medal to the team sprint along with Lauriane Genest and Sarah Orban.
Very good results at the start of this transitional year, while the qualification process for the Paris Olympic Games will not begin until next year. In this context, Kelsey Mitchell wants to take advantage of the coming months to become a more complete cyclist and experience success in the two major competitions of the season: the Commonwealth Games (July 28 to August 8) and the World Championships (October 12 to 16. ). ).
Je pense avoir été en mesure de gagner à Tokyo principalement grâce à ma force et à ma puissance, mais j’ai beaucoup de travail à faire sur le plan technique, affirme-t-elle en toute franchise. Depuis, je tente différentes choses durant les courses et j’apprends de mes erreurs, de ce qui fonctionne ou pas. Je m’améliore à chaque fois.“,”text”:”Je pense avoir été en mesure de gagner à Tokyo principalement grâce à ma force et à ma puissance, mais j’ai beaucoup de travail à faire sur le plan technique, affirme-t-elle en toute franchise. Depuis, je tente différentes choses durant les courses et j’apprends de mes erreurs, de ce qui fonctionne ou pas. Je m’améliore à chaque fois.”}}”>I think I was able to win in Tokyo mainly because of my strength and power, but I have a lot of work to do technically, ”she said candidly. Since then, I’ve tried different things in careers and I’m learning from my mistakes, from what works and what doesn’t. I get better every time.
The wisdom of Lauriane Genest
Like her good friend, Lauriane Genest barely comes down from her cloud. Returning from Japan with a bronze medal in keirin, Lévisienne also had a good start to the season.
He feared the pain of the first weekend of competition in the Scottish metropolis, but on the third step of the podium he finished the keirin event. An encouraging result, even if coming home is not easy.
Depuis que nous sommes revenus de Glasgow, le voyage et le décalage horaire nous ont fait un peu mal, donc ç’a été vraiment difficile sur la récupération“,”text”:”Depuis que nous sommes revenus de Glasgow, le voyage et le décalage horaire nous ont fait un peu mal, donc ç’a été vraiment difficile sur la récupération”}}”>Since we got back from Glasgow, we’ve been a bit hurt by travel and jet lag, so recovery has been really hard.admits Genest, who can’t look forward to races at Milton this weekend.
Je suis un peu dans le néant honnêtement, mais je fais confiance totalement à la préparation.“,”text”:”Je suis un peu dans le néant honnêtement, mais je fais confiance totalement à la préparation.”}}”>I’m a little clueless actually, but I’m quite confident in the preparation.
Like Kelsey Mitchell, Lauriane Genest was only accepted to the national team in 2018, and yet, the two cyclists play the role of leaders of the Canadian formation today. A position spontaneously accepted by two teammates.
” This is not necessary to say, but I think on a daily basis, Kelsey and I have a positive impact on the group. We’re both pretty professional, we’re strict and we show that we can work well, have fun too and get results. »
Genest, who will celebrate his 24th birthday on May 28, admitted himself being inspired by his training partner.
J’ai eu la chance de gagner la médaille de bronze [à Tokyo], mais je veux aussi remporter la médaille d’or, et donc chaque jour Kelsey m’inspire“,”text”:”J’ai eu la chance de gagner la médaille de bronze [à Tokyo], mais je veux aussi remporter la médaille d’or, et donc chaque jour Kelsey m’inspire”}}”>I was lucky to win a bronze medal [à Tokyo]but I also want to win a gold medal, and so every day Kelsey inspires mehe said openly.
J’imagine que ça fait la même chose pour les autres athlètes dans notre équipe.“,”text”:”J’imagine que ça fait la même chose pour les autres athlètes dans notre équipe.”}}”>I think it does the same for the other athletes on our team.
A new round
Despite the presence of Mitchell and Genest this weekend, the Canadian team has a very different face. The youth experience gives way and progress will continue for some young Olympians seeking a second Olympic ticket.
Of the major absentees, Hugo Barrette has yet to announce his intentions for the Paris Games since his participation in reality TV, and is the main part of the women’s team pursuit team, which includes Georgia Simmerling (retirement) and Jasmin Duehring (pregnancy), only Ariane Bonhomme remains.
Among the other Canadian athletes present at Milton, we saw Nick Wammes, 14th in the men’s sprint in Tokyo, and several members of the men’s pursuit team, authors of the Canadian record at the last Olympic Games. In another surprise, rower and Olympic bronze medalist Caleigh Filmer is trying her luck at track cycling.
The competition will begin on Thursday with the team pursuit and team sprint finals. On Friday, Kelsey Mitchell and Lauriane Genest will be honored in the women’s sprint. They will return to the track on Sunday for the women’s keirin event.
Due to a scheduling conflict, the Canadian team will miss the third and final round of the Nations Cup, which is shown from July 7 to 10 in Cali, Colombia, and will instead travel to Lima, Peru, to participate in the Pan American Championships.