Tara Whitten of Edmonton upset Olympic team member Gina Grain of Burnaby to win the gold medal in the women's points race Friday at the Tim Hortons Track Nationals cycling competition.
It was Whitten's first career national track championship in the points race and third Canadian title overall. The 28-year-old is a former national team member in cross country skiing but is now devoting herself full-time to track cycling.
She won a close battle Friday over Grain, who placed ninth in the event at this month's Olympic Games, and third-place finisher Stephanie Roorda of Victoria.
"It was a really fun race and really close," said Whitten, who started track cycling in 2005 and committed herself full-time to the sport last year. "My focus has been primarily in the pursuit but I'm starting to do better and better in the points race.
"I've really improved my tactical ability in this event and I'm learning more and more."
In the men's team pursuit competition, Team Ontario (Joseph Veloce, William Lampe and Francois Chabot) took gold while Team Alberta (Jeff Bakal, Dylan Menard and Mike Patton) placed second.
In junior competition, Laurie-Anne Dupont-Renaud of Montreal took the women's points race with Krista Ruby of Inglewood, Ont., second and Shanie Bergeron of Chateauguay, Que., third.
Allison Beveridge of Calgary won the junior women's omnium with Alberta riders Anastasia Stadnik and Gina Kisell second and third, respectively. The junior men's team pursuit crown went to B.C. riders Jacob Schwingboth, Scott Mulder and Curtis Jung.
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