Canadian Cyclist


January 24/04 8:35 am - Olympic Qualification Update, Report From Belgium

Posted by Editor on 01/24/04

Olympic Qualification Update

The Canadian Olympic Association (COA) has released an updated list of athletes who have met criteria for selection to the Athens team, as of January 15th. Qualification consists of meeting Schedule A and Schedule C criteria. Schedule A criteria are those set by the CCA (and approved by the COA). Schedule C criteria are those set by the UCI. We have previously published Schedule C criteria (a PDF is available Here). Schedule A criteria have been approved by the COA, but have not yet been released (so we cannot provide them yet). The table below contains the updated list of cyclists eligible for the Athens Olympic team, and the criteria they have met.

RiderEventSchedule ASchedule C
Barry, Michael -Toronto, ON Ind. Road Race X
Bessette, Lyne - Knowlton, QC Ind. Road Race X
Bisaro, Kiara - Courtenay, BC Cross Country XX
Green, Roland - Victoria, BC Cross Country XX
Hesjedal, Ryder - Victoria, BC Cross Country XX
Jutras, Manon - Montréal, QC Ind. Road Race X
Kabush, Geoff - Courtenay, BC Cross Country XX
McGrath, Seamus - Milgrove, ON Cross Country XX
Muenzer, Lori-Ann - Edmonton, AB 500m Time Trial X
Muenzer, Lori-Ann - Edmonton, AB Sprint X
Palmer-Komar, Susan - Hamilton, ON Ind. Road Race X
Poitras, Mandy - Langley, BC Points Race X
Prémont, Marie-Hélène - Château-Richer, QC Cross Country XX
Redden, Chrissy - Campbellville, ON Cross Country XX
Sydor, Alison - Victoria, BC Cross Country XX
Wohlberg, Eric - Levack, ON Ind. Road Race X

Report From Belgium

Wendy Simms, the senior women's national cyclo-cross champion, is one of two Canadians who will be competing at the 'Cross Worlds (the other is Samantha Nicholson, who earlier supplied an update on her race last weekend at the World Cup in Nommay, France). Wendy is in Belgium, making final preparations for the Worlds, and sent in this report.

Belgium Report
by Wendy Simms

Hello from Tournhout!

JAN 20.
FOG. Jane predicted it-we should have listened. The fog rolled into Nanaimo after Cory flew out early Tuesday morning. We figured we would be fine too but it was four hours in the Nanaimo airport until we could get out. As a result, all of our connections were screwed up and we had to fly overnight into London and then connect to Brussels. Cory would have to get the rental car in Paris and drive to Brussels on his own and pick us up at the airport. Lots of potential for a major gong show but that was the least of his problems as his bike was missing...more on that later....

JAN 21
We met up with Cory at the airport (his orange fuzzy was spotted by Norm immediately) and tried to break free of the RING that seems to exist around every city in Belgium as well as a monster sized church in the middle of each town. A stop in some small town for dinner opened our eyes up to the huge amount of cheese that could be consumed in one sitting. I dont know how these Belgium people arent fat-it must be the bike riding they do and the fact that EVERYONE smokes. The smokey hotels, restaurants and internet cafes aere killing us! We wake up with full smokers coughs every morning.We were pretty fried and just wanted a place to sleep. Norm had been to Herentals with Peter a couple of years ago and knew the town so we headed there and found a room-two skinny flights up. Bikes were checked over before we went to bed-no problems with ours but Corys was still MIA.

JAN 22
No one got a good sleep that night because at five am we soon found out we were on a pretty busy route. A traditional continental breakfast made up for it and we checked out the town of Herentals with a full belly. Gangs of kids on bikes were riding to school on old school commuter bikes. Brick houses everywhere. Cobblestone streets. Bike paths lined every street. Bakeries pumping out yummy smells. We walked by the library because Norm had proudly saved his card from two years ago. We decided to pack up the Opal wagon and head out to Mol (world Masters race) and Hoogstraten (superprestige race). We got caught in the middle of hundreds of tractors protesting something and that helped us with the decision to go to Hoogstraten (after stopping at the bakery and a couple bike shops). We checked out Hoogstraten and spent some time looking for a place to call home for a few days. Apparently the two hotels (12 rooms total) in town were booked. We found a place in Meerel close to the superprestige and after hearing a bit of a rant about the Belgian government and taxes in Belgium we got set up and rode the superprestige course while Cory called about his bike. It was starting to look like it might not be here for his race....The race course wasnt set up yet but we could figure out one thing-there was a lot of SAND and there was no Masters race for Norm and Cory. We hit Tournhout for another cheesy dinner and barely made it home before we crashed at 9:30.

JAN 23
THIRTEEN HOURS SLEEP!!! Apparently we were a bit tired but it was a wicked sleep. We pulled ourselves out of bed when we saw the time and headed to Mol to preride the masters world championships course - after a stop at a bakery and a meat shop. My new goal is to stop at a bakery every day and try a new pastry. Cory was still getting screwed by the airlines as they were still trying to get his bike from Paris to Belgium. New estimate was Sat afternoon-just when he was supposed to be racing. I dont know how he didnt SNAP. But he was still smiley. He used the pink bike to pre-ride the course. Norm crashed twice in his first 300 meters on the course. Smashing his leg and fragile ribs so we will see how those are. It was pretty much all sand with this one beach section that you had to fly into warp speed and try to get through a foot deep sand without bailing. I saw many crashes while I walked the course. It sucked your energy and then you had to pick up speed so you could get through this uphill sand section. Some guys made it look easy but we found out after that the course has been set up for seven years now so the Belgians have it mastered. I got on the pink bike for a few laps. I tried the sandy section all cocky and bit it after 5m with Norm right behind me and then on top of me as he fell too. The locals were laughing at us..........the sand is tough. It might be a blow to the ego but it might be faster to run it. Its going to be CRAZY for their race. Cory is going to have to use the pink bike and I will get to take some pictures of the chaos. We headed to Tournhout (after stopping at a bakery and bike shops) for some dinner and our daily dose of smoke.

More later.....

Quick Notes
No-one seems to like the French or the government.
Lots of cheese on everything.
Good bakeries and good bike shops and good chocolate.


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