Posted by Editor on 02/14/12
Canada’s track cycling team just ended a training camp in Wales to prepare for the final UCI Track World Cup, this week, on the same track to be used during the 2012 Olympic Games.
The event, part of the 2012 London Prepares series, will feature the best track cyclists in the world, and Canada will be bringing its top talent with the objectives to familiarize the team with the venue, the track, top Olympic staff and the city.
The event is also one of three events left on the racing calendar before the Olympic qualification window closes. In addition to this final World Cup of the season, the UCI Continental Championships in Mar Del Plata, Argentina, in March, as well as the UCI Track World Championships in Melbourne, Australia, in April, will count towards Olympic qualification.
Tara Whitten of Edmonton, a three-time World Champion and defending Omnium World Champion, was excited about the training camp in Wales in anticipation of the World Cup. “Our preparations went really well in Wales. We are all excited to know we’ll be competing on the new velodrome in London this week. This is an exciting time for Canadian cycling, with a renewed energy and optimism for the sport in Canada.”
Whitten, who only competed in one World Cup event thus far this season to preserve her energies for the Olympic Games, is the current World Champion and World Cup Champion in the Women’s Omnium, a new Olympic discipline to be showcased for the first time in London.
The team was one of many who trained at the velodrome today, for the first time, and Tara Whitten shares her feelings regarding this brand new venue built for the Olympic Games.
“The velodrome in London is an incredible facility. We can really feel the energy around the venue and around the city. Cycling has a great history in Great Britain, and many legends came from this country. We are excited to test ourselves and show what we can do on the Olympic velodrome in front of a sold out crowd!”
Zach Bell, who grew up in Watson Lake, Yukon, and is currently residing in North Vancouver, BC, is also a strong competitor, in the Men’s Omnium. Bell is the current World Cup Champion in the discipline, and hopes to peak for the Olympics in London.
“We spent a lot of time to optimize our training in Los Angeles. For the last two years, the priority has been preparing for the Olympics. Many of us made some important sacrifices to prepare for these Olympics. There are many specialists around us to help us be at our finest form for the Olympics, and we are grateful for their support,” said Bell.
In addition to Whitten and Bell, Canada will have athletes and teams in the Women Team Pursuit, the Men’s Team Sprint, the Sprint and the Keirin, all Olympic disciplines.
The Women’s Team Pursuit will be comprised of Tara Whitten, Laura Brown of Vancouver, Gillian Carleton of Victoria, and Jasmin Glaesser of Coquitlam, BC. The final starting line-up [of three riders] will be decided in the days before the event.
The Men’s Team Sprint will see Stéphane Cossette of Chicoutimi, Quebec, Scott Mulder of Vancouver, BC, Cameron MacKinon of Dieppe, New Brunswick, and Hugo Barette of Cap-aux-Meules, Quebec. The final composition of the team [three riders] will be announced prior to the event.
Hugo Barette, in addition to the Team Sprint races, will take part in the individual Sprint events as well as the Keirin. MacKinon will also race the individual Sprint events.
In the women’s Sprint races, the consistent Monique Sullivan of Calgary will race to improve her world ranking and make the Olympic spot her own.
Brown, Laura (Vancouver, BC)
Carleton, Gillian (Victoria, BC)
Glaesser, Jasmin (Coquitlam, BC)
Sullivan, Monique (Calgary, AB)
Whitten, Tara (Edmonton, AB)
Barette, Hugo (Cap-Aux-Meules, QC)
Bell, Zach (Watson Lake, Yukon/North Vancouver, BC)
Cossette, Stéphane (Chicoutimi, QC)
MacKinnon, Cameron (Calgary, AB/Dieppe, NB)
Mulder, Scott (Vancouver, BC)
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