Posted by Editor on 03/14/11
The Canadian Track Cycling Team is prepared and ready for the 2011 UCI Track Cycling World Championships to be held in Apeldoorn, Netherlands, from March 23rd to March 27th. Led by 2011 World Cup Champions Tara Whitten and Zach Bell, the team will be entering this competition with no other goal than to win World titles.
Head Coach Richard Wooles says the team has legitimate chances to win medal at this high level and prestigious track cycling event: "We certainly have strong medal hopes in both Omnium races. The athletes in the Omnium and in the women's Team Pursuit [have] proved that they are amongst the best in the world, showing great consistency in the top 5 of World cup competition."
The 2011 UCI Track World Championships is the last major event on the track cycling calendar.
"We were fortunate enough to be able to qualify for the World Championships in the first three events. That allowed Zach [Bell], Tara [Whitten], Steph [Roorda] and Laura [Brown] to rest and have a proper preparation and training for this event - certainly a privilege for these athletes."
Defending World Champion and current World Cup Champion Tara Whitten of Edmonton, Alberta, will undoubtedly be the one rider to catch in the Women's Omnium. Whitten is closing a stellar track season with podiums at every Omnium she competed in, including a gold medal in Beijing, China earlier in January.
Zach Bell, originally from Watson Lake, Yukon, and currently residing in North Vancouver, BC, won the 2011 World Cup title with podiums in all three events he entered. In 2009 at the Track World Championships, Bell won the silver medal, while at the last Commonwealth Games in Delhi, India, he went on to win the bronze medal in the Scratch race. Bell, a seasoned veteran and 4-time Canadian Champion in 2010, will be a definite contender for the title.
The Women's Team Pursuit squad will also be looking for a great performance in Apeldoorn. The Canadian team placed second at the Team Pursuit race in Beijing, China, in January. Four athletes will be making the trip overseas, with regulars Tara Whitten, Stephanie Roorda and Laura Brown of Vancouver, BC ready to jump in the action. In addition, Clara Hughes of Glen Sutton, QC, joined the team on this trip.
"Clara [Hughes] will be accompanying the team at these Championships. What's important to note is that we have yet to allocate any position on the team's Pursuit team. We will make the best decision on site, closer to the event, and we will go with whom we think provides us with the best chance to win a medal," explained Wooles.
Monique Sullivan of Calgary, AB, has proven this season that she is ready for the big leagues, showing consistency throughout the season. The young rider from Calgary will be racing in the women's Sprint event, an event where it's all about sheer power and high velocity.
In the men's Sprint events, youngster Scott Mulder of Vancouver, BC, will represent Canada. Mulder, who took part in his first ever World Cup in Manchester this past February, will also compete in the Men's Team Sprint with Hugo Barrette of Quebec City and Thomas Hums of Sudbury, Ontario, two aspiring elite athletes who have shown lots of great potential at the training base in Los Angeles.
The team will also be joined by 18-year old Jasmin Glaesser of Coquitlam, BC. Although Glaesser will not partake in any event at the World Championships, Wooles is hoping that Glaesser can be mentored by Canada's top athletes in addition to gaining experiences at major events and get a feel for the atmosphere of an event of this magnitude.
Laura Brown (Vancouver, BC) - Women's Team Pursuit
Jasmin Glaesser (Coquitlam, BC)
Clara Hughes (Glen Sutton, QC) - Women's Team Pursuit
Stephanie Roorda (Vancouver, BC) - Women's Team Pursuit
Monique Sullivan (Calgary, AB) - Women's Sprint
Tara Whitten (Edmonton, AB) - Omnium; Women's Team Pursuit
Hugo Barette (QC) - Men Team Sprint
Zachary Bell (Watson Lake, YK/North Vancouver, BC) - Omnium
Thomas Hums (Sudbury, ON) - Men Team Sprint
Scott Mulder (Vancouver, BC) - Men Team Sprint; Men's Sprint
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