Posted by Editoress on 06/11/08
Canadian Cycling Association nominates Paralympic team
The Canadian Cycling Association nominated entries for seven of its 10 spots for the 2008 Paralympic Games scheduled for September 7-18 in Beijing. The Paralympics are the largest multi-sport event for athletes with a disability.
There are two men's tandem entries: Stéphane Côté of Quebec City and his guide Pierre-Olivier Boily of Sherbrooke, Que., as well as Daniel Chalifour of Mont-Laurier, Que., and his guide Alexandre Cloutier of Quebec City.
Also nominated were Jean Quévillon of Ste-Adèle, Que., in the cerebral palsy class and Mark Beggs of Montreal and Rico Morneau of Ste-Martine, Que., in hand cycling.
The women's team nominees are Geneviève Ouellet of Amos, Que., and her guide Mathilde Hupin-Debeurne of Bromont, Que., in the tandem and Shauna Whyte of Hinton, Alta., in hand cycling.
Canadian cyclists were shutout of the medals at the last Paralympic Games in 2004 but recent impressive international performances provide confidence Canada can reach the podium in 2008.
"We had a lot of fourth place finishes at the world championships last year leaving no doubt we're medal contenders," said Canadian national team coach Vincent Jourdain. "With the training we're putting in this season and the improvements to our equipment we'll definitely improve."
Boily and Côté showed potential four years ago in Athens with several top-10 finishes then won silver at the 2006 world championships. Chalifour and Cloutier sparkled at the Pan Am Championships last November Ã‹â€ an open event which attracted a strong worldwide field - with a triple gold performance on the track
Quévillon won the silver medal at the 2000 Paralympics in Sydney and was fifth in the road race four years ago in Athens. He was fourth in both the individual pursuit and time trial at the world championships last year and delivered a quadruple medal performance at the Pan Am Championships last year.
Beggs upset world champion Max Weber of Germany in the road race at the Pan Am Championships.
Both Ouellet and Whyte are new faces to Paralympic cycling but bring a wealth of sporting experience. Ouellet is a former member of the national team for swimmers with a disability while Whyte was on the 2006 Paralympic Winter Games squad in cross country skiing and biathlon.
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