Posted by Editor on 02/16/07
CCA Releases National Team Project Selection Criteria
The Canadian Cycling Association national team selection criteria for 2007 world championships, Pan Am championships and Pan Am Games are now available (see links below). Note that the Pan Am Mountain Bike Championships selection has already been made, with Geoff Kabush, Seamus McGrath and Max Plaxton heading to Argentina for the March 11th race (see Daily News February 16/07 11:00 am). The following is a CCA statement on the rationale for these criteria, followed by our comments.
These criteria have been developed by the CCA High Performance Committee in collaboration with the national coaching staff, and reflect the CCA's high performance priorities, which are medal-winning performances at elite world championships and Olympic Games.
The intent of these criteria is to identify and select athletes who are capable of winning medals, contribute to other athletes winning medals, or whose worlds experience will contribute to a future medal-winning performance. To that end, minimum performance standards have been set in each discipline, and athletes must meet these standards in order to be eligible for selection.
The final team selection criteria for selection to the 2008 Beijing Olympic team be released at a later date.
The CCA reserves the right to make changes to these criteria in the case of changes to the international competition environment.
The majority of the selection criteria for these events will limit the pool of athletes to those already identified for the Beijing stream, however, it is useful for aspiring athletes to understand the standards that they have to strive towards, as the look to 2010 (Commonwealth Games, India) and 2012 (Olympics, London, UK).
- The Team Sprint program (Travis Smith, Cam MacKinnon and Yannick Morin) remains "on the bubble" at this point. The team was under pressure to achieve a top-8 at the Los Angeles Track World Cup last month, but finished 11th. With limited funds, the CCA is considering pulling support for the program, but CCA High Performance Director Kris Westwood says that they may hold Trials to determine if the team is competitive and will continue to receive support. There are other programs that are also competing for funding, such as the Symmetrics Team Pursuit squad.
- The CCA does not send a team to the Marathon World Championships, but will enter eligible individual Canadian athletes who apply in writing by July 15, 2007. In order to be eligible, athletes must be ranked on the UCI Marathon individual classification, and they must have participated in the 2007 MTB Marathon National Championship or, if this event is not organized, in the 2007 MTB XC National Championship. Participation in this event is entirely at the athlete's own cost, including but not limited to athlete travel, accommodations, meals and national team uniform and CCA on-site representation.
- The CCA plans to send 14 XC riders to the Mountain Bike Worlds, all funded (although some chargebacks could apply). Max Plaxton and Marie-Helene Premont are automatics, based on medalling in 2006. Other XC athletes could participate (if they meet criteria), but will be self-funded. Downhill riders will all be self-funded (non-Olympic discipline), with a total of 9 athletes being selected).
- For Road Worlds, the elite men's category, as always, is at the mercy of UCI rankings. Canada will likely not fare well under the ProTour criteria, since we have only one rider (Michael Barry, T-Mobile) on a ProTour team. Through Continental Tour rankings we have a number of rider possibilities, but the deck is heavily stacked in favour of South American nations, who are blatantly manipulating their calendars to maximize rankings. Some so-called UCI continental level events have not met the criteria for such events (particularly in number of nations attending), but the UCI, as yet, has not addressed this issue. Both Canada and the U.S. are starting to get more forceful in their demands for the UCI to address the issue.
For women the criteria are not as much of a concern, and Canada will select a team of up to 6 riders (depending upon competitiveness). For Espoir men it is also less likely to be a problem, since Canada has to rank in the top-12 on the Americas ranking in order to start 3 riders.
- For the Pan Am Road and Track Championships (not Pan Am Games), Canada will fund athletes in disciplines where there is a strong chance to qualify for Beijing. This identified events are:
Elite and U23 men's road race and time trial
Women's points race
Men's sprint and keirin
Men's points race and Madison
Other selected events may have athletes participate, but it could be self-funded, such as:
Elite women's road race and time trial (note that this event falls outside the qualification timeline for the Olympic Games)
Women's scratch race
Women's individual pursuit, sprint and 500m time trial
Men's team sprint and kilometer time trial
Men's individual pursuit, team pursuit and scratch race
Svein Tuft and David Veilleux are pre-selected for the Elite and Espoir men's time trials, as the national champions.
CCA Criteria Documents (PDFs):
Pan Am Games
Mountain Bike Worlds
Junior Road & Track Worlds
Pan Am Road & Track Championships
2008 Cyclo-cross Worlds
2008 Track Worlds
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