Posted by Editor on 03/5/04
CCA Announces Mexico Squad
National coach Eric Van Den Eynde and his assistant, U.S. former track star Erin Hartwell, have finalized the Canadian team selection for the Mexico round of the track cycling World Cup, which will take place March 12-14 in Aguascalientes.
After evaluating the riders by using timed events during a selection camp in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.and the qualification round of the U.S. World Cup trials, the coaches picked 13 riders to represent Canada
The women's selection is made up of Lori-Ann Muenzer of Edmonton, Alta., who is making her racing debut for the season and will compete in the 500 m time trial and the sprint, Mandy Poitras of Langley, B.C. in the points race and scratch race and Erin Carter of St. Anne, Man., who will do the individual pursuit and the scratch race.
On the men's side, because the greatest chance of Olympic qualification is offered in the team events, it has been decided to target both the Olympic sprint and the team pursuit events in Mexico, which has the advantage of being reasonably close so jet lag and travel costs are at a minimum. Results from this World Cup event will help the CCA decide whether the teams have a realistic hope of qualifying for the Olympics.
Hartwell used a series of time trials to identify the strongest sprinters. Initial assessment was made using a combination of times from one lap standing start and two lap flying start events, and final selection was based on the U.S. World Cup trials qualification round and individual coaches' assessments.
In the end, four sprinters were picked for Mexico: Steen Madsen and Lars Madsen from Edmonton, and Calgarians Travis Smith and Cam McKinnon. Three of them will race in the Olympic sprint, two will compete in the sprints and one will race the keirin.
For endurance selection, Van den Eynde evaluated the athletes using flying 500m and flying 1,000m times, and a 12-minute aerobic test in which the riders accelerate progressively, exchanging the lead every half lap, until the weaker athletes are unable to maintain tempo at the front or get dropped.
Final selection was Martin Gilbert of Châteauguay, Que., Mark Ernsting from North Vancouver, B.C., Jean-François Laroche from Magog, Que., Alex Cloutier from Neuville, Que. and Bruno Langlois from Rimouski, Que. Ernsting will contest the points race, Gilbert will do the scratch race, in which he finished sixth in the previous World Cup in Moscow, Laroche will race the individual pursuit, Cloutier and Gilbert will do the Madison and all five will be entered for the team pursuit, with the final choice to be made later.
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