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Top Canadian Sprinter takes silver to close Pan-American Championships in Mexico City

(Mexico City, MEX – February 11, 2013) Canada ended the 2013 UCI Pan-American track cycling Championships on a high note Sunday as Joseph Veloce captured silver in the men’s sprint, posting his personal best result at international competition.

Veloce, 24, of Fonthill, Ont., won his semifinal heats and faced Hersony Canelón of Venezuela in the gold medal final on the CNAR velodrome in Mexico City. Though Canelón had more speed, winning the first heat by a bike length, Veloce showed his tactical strength in the second heat, which he only lost by a few centimetres.

The silver medal is a personal best result for Veloce at international competition.

“I’m really excited because this is my first international podium (in an individual event),” said Veloce, who was also part of the team sprint squad that won silver on the opening day of competition. “This is a great start to my preparation for the next Olympics, and I’d like to thank all the staff for their support here.”

Also racing Sunday were Alison Beveridge, Kirsti Lay and Candice Vermeulen. All three women were struggling with illness and weren’t performing at their best. Beveridge finished the omnium in eighth place, while Vermeulen was ninth in the points race and Lay didn’t finish.

The track cycling season ends in two weeks with the 2013 UCI Track World Championships in Minsk, Belarus. The full Canadian roster will be announced later this week.