Posted by Editoress on 06/29/16
Cycling Canada has announced the 19 athletes that will represent Canada at the Rio Olympics in August, and the 12 for the Paralympics in September. For the most part, there are few surprises on the list, and it will be a strong team.
Here is the list of athletes and our analysis of the selection, and medal hopes.
All three will race in the road race and one in the time trial, with Hugo Houle the obvious choice for the TT. The road race is a crap shoot; get in the right break and you could have a chance at a medal, but the likelihood is low. There will be ongoing debates on whether Svein Tuft, Ryder Hesjedal, Ryan Anderson or others should have been selected, but this is a solid selection. Medal Chances: Low
"I am very excited to participate in the biggest cycling event in the world. It is an honour for me to wear the Canadian colours for both the road race and the time trial. I accomplished my first goal of the 2016 season: to qualify for the Olympics. Now, the attention turns towards the final preparations to arrive in Rio at my peak." Hugo Houle, 2015 Pan American Games Time Trial Champion, Road Cycling
All three will race the road and two will race the time trial, with Canuel and Whitten the choices for the TT, after finishing 1-2 on the hilly Nationals TT course this week. Whitten and Canuel both have the potential to medal in the TT, with the road race - like the men - a crap shoot. Medal Chances: Medium
alternate: Annie Foremann-Mackie
This is Canada's strongest medal chance, in the Team Pursuit, coming off a silver medal at the Worlds and a consistent performance in the medals over the last Olympic cycle. Anything less than a medal would be considered a huge disappointment. Canada will also put a rider in the Omnium, and Canada has a reasonable chance for a medal there as well. Medal Chances: High
"We have proven ourselves to be contenders for the top step of the podium at every competition we have attended since London 2012 and I fully expect us to be ready to challenge for the gold in Rio. Though most will only see the four riders on the start line, this team and our ultimate performance will be a testament to the relentless dedication on the part of our staff and partners that have worked tirelessly to provide us with all the tools and resources necessary to pursue our goals. I couldn't be more proud to work with such a phenomenal team on and off the bike and it’s because of you that we will be able to take to the boards in Rio confident, knowing that our best is yet to come." Jasmin Glaesser, Olympic Bronze Medallist, Track Cycling
Canada's women's Sprint duo has made huge gains in the past year, and should make the final in the Keirin and the potential of the final four in the Sprint. There is a smaller chance of making the medal round in the Team Sprint. Medal Chances: Medium
Hugo Barrette has the potential to make the medals in the Keirin, without question, however, there is an element of luck in this event, regarding the draw in the path to the Finals. If he rides like Hong Kong [World Cup silver] and Pan Am Games [Gold], then he could medal. Medal Chances: Medium
Canada's lone BMX athlete is Tory Nyhaug. At the Pan Am Games, Tory was untouchable, however, he crashed out of the Worlds early. This is a crap shoot at best. Medal Chances: Low - Medium
Women's Mountain Bike
Along with the Women's Team Pursuit, this is one of Canada's best hopes for a medal. Both Pendrel and Batty have been on the podium this season. Medal Chances: High
"I am really excited to represent Canada for a third time at the Olympic Games. I am always proud to wear the maple leaf and will do my best to put it on the podium where it belongs. We have an incredibly strong and cohesive team headed to Rio. I know we will all give our best and make Canada proud!" Catharine Pendrel, Two-Time World Champion, Mountain Bike
Men's Mountain Bike
Canada's men are stronger than they have been for quite a while, but a top-10 performance is likely the best that can be hoped for, given the level of competition. Medal Chances: Low - Medium
Overall, we are predicting a minimum of two medals and a maximum of five medals.
Robbi Weldon (Track, Road)
Audrey Lemieux (Track, Road) - Pilot
Shelly Gautier (Road)
Marie-Eve Croteau (Road)
Marie-Claude Molnar (Track, Road)
Nicole Clermont (Track, Road)
Canada has medal chances in a number of categories, particularly with Robbi Weldon and Audrey Lemieux, plus Clermont and Gautier. Medal Chances: High
Daniel Chalifour (Track, Road)
Jean-Michel Lachance (Track, Road) - Pilot
Tristen Chernove (Track, Road)
Ross Wilson (Track, Road)
Charles Moreau (Road)
Mike Sametz (Track, Road)
The Canadian Para men also have strong medal chances, particularly Chernove, Wilson, Sametz, and Chalifour/Lachance. Medal Chances: High
Overall, we are predicting a minimum of three medals and a maximum of seven.
"Cycling is obviously a sport that is close to my heart. We are incredibly lucky to have medal potential across the board. This group has a wide range of experienced athletes - some that have stood on the podium at every level in international events. Congratulations to everyone involved that has made it possible for us to be here today. We are looking forward to cheering you on."
Curt Harnett, Rio 2016 Team Canada Chef de Mission
"I’m very proud of what our athletes, coaches and staff have achieved in securing the highest number of Olympic quota spots for cycling in recent years. Thanks to our more centralized programs, where we’ve been able to optimize our daily training environments, I am confident that we have the systems and processes in place that will put our cyclists in the best possible position to generate top Olympic performances."
Jacques Landry, High Performance Director and Head Coach
"Cycling Canada has done a phenomenal job of preparing our athletes to compete for Team Canada and to push for the podium in all four cycling disciplines in Rio. On behalf of the Government of Canada, congratulations to our cyclistsnamed today to represent our country and good luck this summer at the Olympic Games."
The Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities
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