Saanich cyclists on track at nationals

Riley Pickrell Erin Atwell combined to set five Canadian records and reel in a dozen medals at Canadian junior championships

Saanich’s Riley Pickrell in the hunt during the U17 national track cycling championships in Milton

Saanich’s Riley Pickrell in the hunt during the U17 national track cycling championships in Milton

They may be from Saanich, but Riley Pickrell, Erin Atwell and their Tripleshot teammates are putting the Westshore Velodrome on the map.

Pickrell, a 15-year-old Grade 9 student at Claremont secondary, led the way at the 2016 Canadian Junior Track Championships last weekend in Milton, Ont. He set two Canadian records and won four gold, two silver and a bronze medal while dominating the U17 races.

Attwell, who recently turned 16, competed at the junior (U19) level and set three Canadian records winning two gold and three silver medals and qualified for this summer’s World Junior Track Cycling Championships in Switzerland, July 20 to 24.

Milton was the second national track championships in five months as Cycling Canada moved the national championships to the spring.

For Pickrell, it was a continuation of his  U17 omnium win at the November track nationals. However, the latest track nationals did not have an omnium, which combines the series of events. Pickrell joined Tyler Davies and Ethan Ogrodniczuk to win the team sprint and Pickrell set a new Canadian record in the 500-metre individual time trial of 33.694 seconds. Pickrell also set a Canadian record (2:21.056) while winning gold in the individual pursuit and also took gold in the sprint.

Attwell, who attends the Maria Montessori School with her twin brother Adam, and is also in the Canadian Sport School at PISE, joined with Maple Ridge’s Maggie Coles-Lyster to break the existing record in the U19 team sprint with a time of 36.339 seconds.

Going head-to-head in the individual pursuit, Attwell set a Canadian record in the qualifying round (2.27.02) but fell to silver as Coles-Lyster won the final heat.

“Both riders beat the world championships qualifying time of 2:32.720, a phenomenal effort for both these first-year U19 riders,” said Joanna Fox, age group coach with Tripleshot Cycling.

Attwell also won the 500-metre time trial and was second in the individual sprint and points races.

Saanich’s Adam Attwell “held his own in a competitive field after transferring to cycling just three months ago from a successful high school rowing season, racing the individual races in his first year as a U19 rider,” Fox said.

 

reporter@saanichnews.com

 

 

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