Olympic champion Kelsey Mitchell wins keirin gold in photo finish at UCI Track Champions League

Canada's Kelsey Mitchell competes in the women's 500-metre time trial final during the UCI Track Cycling World Championships on Oct. 15 at the Velodrome of Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, southwest of Paris. (Anne-Christine Poujoulat/AFP via Getty Images - image credit)
Canada's Kelsey Mitchell competes in the women's 500-metre time trial final during the UCI Track Cycling World Championships on Oct. 15 at the Velodrome of Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, southwest of Paris. (Anne-Christine Poujoulat/AFP via Getty Images - image credit)

A week after she claimed silver in the opening round of the UCI Track Champions League season, Canadian Olympic champion Kelsey Mitchell returned to the top step of the podium on Saturday.

In the women's keirin final, Mitchell edged Colombia's Martha Bayona by 0.001 seconds to win gold after a photo finish in Berlin, Germany.

The Sherwood Park., Alta., native finished runner-up to Bayona in the first round of the Champions League season in Mallorca, Spain.

"Every race I'm learning and it's great competition," Mitchell said following the race. "You have to bring it every day. It's a tough month [of competition] but it's a ton of fun, the crowd is great — it's quality racing, so it's awesome."

It's been a rapid rise to the top of the track cycling circuit for Mitchell, who entered her first track cycling race in February 2018, and would go on to win three medals at the Canadian Championships later that year — including the national women's sprint title.

Mitchell, 28, won gold in the sprint event in her Olympic debut last year in Tokyo. It was just the second Olympic gold medal ever won by a Canadian track cyclist.

In the inaugural Champions League season last year, Mitchell finished third in the women's sprint overall standings behind Germany's Lea Freidrich, in second, and Emma Hinze, who captured the title.

At the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England this past summer, Mitchell collected four medals in four events, with three silver and one bronze.

After crashing out of the men's scratch race, Canada's Dylan Bibic rebounded with a victory in the elimination race.

The 19-year-old was joined on the podium alongside fellow Canadian Mathias Guillemette, who claimed bronze behind Great Britain's William Perrett.

Following his win last week in Spain, Guillemette leads the men's endurance category after two rounds.

Watch live coverage of the next round of the UCI Track Champions League season in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, France next Saturday at 1 p.m. ET on CBCSports.ca, CBC Gem and the CBC Sports app for iOS and Android.

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