Cycling

Cycling team gears up for Commonwealth Games


ccc_logo_smFonthill athlete Joseph Veloce has been named to men’s side of Canada’s Commonwealth Games cycling team that will compete in this year’s event in Glasgow, Scotland, July 23 to Aug. 3.

Veloce, who is a Pan Am champion, will race in the sprinters and endurance divisions. Hamilton native Sean MacKinnon is named as an alternate in the men’s team pursuit. He would be added to the team in that category if another cyclist is unable to compete.

Canada is sending a 16-member team in men’s and women’s 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.

The Canadian team members are:

Track Cycling

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.

Sprinters and Hugo Barrette (Sherbrooke QC) 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 its first big test in Glasgow. Two-time Olympian Zach Bell (Watson Lake YK), Rémi Pelletier-Roy (Quebec City), Nic Hamilton (Victoria BC), Ed Veal (Toronto) and Aidan Caves (Vancouver) have been preparing meticulously for these Games, and are expected to reach the medal finals.

Mountain Bike

The 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) and Canada’s top World Cup performer so far this year, Raphaël Gagné (Quebec City) , will face a stronger men’s field but are expected to be in the hunt for medals as well.

Road

The one remaining spot on Canada’s 16-athlete quota will go to road specialist Leah Kirchmann (Winnipeg), 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.

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.

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