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November 17/07 11:33 am - Canadian Riders Earn Three More Medals at PanAm Para Championships

Posted by Editor on 11/17/07

Canadian Riders Earn Three More Medals at PanAm Para Championships

Canadian riders continued to sparkle at the Pan American Open paracycling championships on Friday, earning two gold medals and a silver in the individual road races.

Éric Bourgault of Orford, Que., (LC2 disability category) and Mark Beggs of Montreal (hand cycling) won gold in their respective races while Jean Quevillon of Ste-Adèle, Que., (cerebral palsy) took the silver.

''With these kinds of results the athletes are more motivated than ever before,'' said Canadian national team coach Eric Van den Eynde.

''The athletes have been working hard for a year and now they've seen the fruits of their labour. It's a great reward for them to see their performances improve at these championships. It's very motivating. What's even more encouraging is that they haven't reached their peak.''

Van den Eynde was particularly pleased to see that changes to Bourgault's training program were effective. ''When I started working with Eric we realised his prosthesis was not adequate,'' he said. ''We designed a new prosthesis that Eric was able to make himself because he works for Bombardier. His RPM power went from 139 to 198. It's easier for an athlete to put in the work when training is optimized and there is a clear improvement at the performance level.''

Bourgault was thrilled with the victory. ''I like being a Pan American champion,'' he said. ''I wasn't expecting such a great result especially after a subpar performance at the worlds. I'm very satisfied.''

In hand cycling, Beggs upset world champion Max Weber of Germany. ''It's a great way to end the season,'' said Beggs. ''I'm in great shape and it showed today. It augurs well for next season.''

Other Canadian road race results : Mark Breton of Charlesbourg, Que., was 17th in the LC1 while Stéphane Cøté of Quebec City and Pierre-Olivier Boily of Bromont, Que., were ninth in the tandem race.


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