June 3/14 12:43 pm - Commonwealth Games Cycling Squad Announced
Posted by Editoress on 06/3/14
Cycling Canada and Commonwealth Games Canada today confirmed the sixteen cyclists who will compete at the XX Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland, from July 23rd to August 3rd.
Cycling Canada has selected a mix of established performers and young up-and-comers with the potential to win as many as 10 medals in track, mountain bike and road events.
These Games also mark the international debut of Canada's new men's team pursuit and team sprint programs, which are expected to vie for places in their medal finals and will form the foundation for future Olympic and world championship success.
"These Games are a huge opportunity for us to bring these new track programs to the next level," said Cycling Canada High Performance Director Jacques Landry. "We have done a careful performance analysis of our athletes and are confident they will be competitive in Glasgow, and this will help us hit the ground running when we move into the new Pan American Games Velodrome in Milton, Ontario, later this year. We expect the track team events to be the breeding ground for our future medal contenders and, thanks to the support of Commonwealth Games Canada and Own the Podium, we have the tools in place to make that a reality."
"At the same time, we are travelling to Glasgow with seven Olympic, World Championship and World Cup medallists. We have high hopes for these Games, and the future looks bright for Canadian cycling in general."
The Road Races and Time Trial will be held July 31st and August 3rd at the Glasgow City Road and Time Trial Courses, while the Track events will be held July 24-27th at Emirates Arena and Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome, and the Mountain Bike races on July 29th at the Cathkin Braes Mountain Bike Trails.
"Cycling has been a Commonwealth Games sport since the inaugural edition of the event's precursor, the 1930 British Empire Games", said Chantal Petitclerc, Chef de Mission of the Canadian Team in Glasgow. "This sport has a huge tradition both at the Commonwealth Games and within the Canadian sport community. With the cycling team being one of our larger sports at the Glasgow Games, I am sure we will be treated to many exciting moments on the track, road and trails."
Athletes nominated by Cycling Canada to Team Canada for the 2014 Commonwealth Games are:
Jasmin Glaesser (Coquitlam BC), Laura Brown (Vancouver BC) and Steph Roorda (Vancouver BC) have all won medals in the women's track endurance events at the Olympic Games or World Championships in the last two years. While their specialty event, the women's team pursuit, isn't on the program in Glasgow, we can expect them to be in the hunt in the women's Scratch Race, the women's Individual Pursuit and the women's Points Race.
On the men's side, Canada will be represented in both the sprint and endurance events. Sprinters Joseph Veloce (Fonthill ON) and Hugo Barrette (Sherbrooke QC) are both Pan Am championship medallists, and they will be joined by speed-skating Olympian Vincent De Haître (Cumberland ON) for the Team Sprint, where they are expected to vie for a place in the medal finals. These athletes will also compete in the Kilometre time trial, Sprint and Keirin events.
The new men's Team Pursuit program will face their first big test in Glasgow. Two-time Olympian Zach Bell (Watson Lake YK), Rémi Pelletier-Roy (Quebec City QC), Nic Hamilton (Victoria BC), Ed Veal (Toronto ON) and Aidan Caves (Vancouver BC) have been preparing meticulously for these Games, and are expected to reach the medal finals.
Canada's Mountain Bike team is made up of four medal contenders. Former world champion Catharine Pendrel (Kamloops BC) and World Cup medalist Emily Batty (Brooklin ON) both contested the women's event at the 2012 London Olympics and will be among the fastest riders on the start line. Fellow Olympian Max Plaxton (Victoria BC) and Canada's top World Cup performer so far this year, Raphaël Gagné (Quebec City QC), will face a stronger men's field but are expected to be in the hunt for medals as well.
The one remaining spot on Canada's 16-athlete quota will go to road specialist Leah Kirchmann (Winnipeg MB), who has been having a breakout season with a string of top placings in international events, including the recent Women's Tour in the U.K. Kirchmann will contest the Individual Time Trial alongside track endurance athletes Glaesser and Brown. These three will be joined by Roorda for the road race to make a four-rider team with a legitimate chance of a medal.
The men's road events will be contested by the track endurance riders. Bell, Hamilton and Veal will race the Individual Time Trial. All five riders will do the Road Race where Bell, who is 2013 Canadian Road Champion, has a shot at a podium finish on the technical course, which includes several short climbs that suit Bell's profile.
The following athletes will be entered in the Games in the event that one or more of the athletes named above withdraws. Please note that substitutions can be made within each individual event only, they must be made before July 22nd, and the total team size is limited to 16 athletes.
• Men's Team Pursuit: Sean MacKinnon (Hamilton ON)
• Men's Team Sprint: Joakim Albert (St-Augustin-des-Desmaures QC)
• Women's Cross-Country: Mikaela Kofman (Toronto ON), Sandra Walter (Coquitlam BC)
• Women's Road: Joëlle Numainville (Montreal QC), Lex Albrecht (Montreal QC)
• Men's Road: Svein Tuft (Langley BC), Will Routley (Whistler BC)
"We are proud of those who have been selected for the Commonwealth Games cycling team," said the Honourable Bal Gosal, Minister of State (Sport). "Our athletes will demonstrate their skill while racing at top speed, leaving Canada breathless with their performances. Congratulations to all the selected athletes, and good luck!"
A team of 265 athletes and close to 100 coaches and support staff will be in Glasgow, Canada's largest Team ever fielded for a non-home Games. The entire Canadian Team, as well as the team's flag bearer, will be officially announced by Commonwealth Games in July 2014.