Canada picks cyclists for Pan Am Games

Cycling-Canada-CyclismeOn Monday, the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) and Cycling Canada Cyclisme announced the 24 cycling athletes and support crews nominated to represent Team Canada at the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games from July 10 to 26. The announcement was made at the Cisco Milton Pan Am/Parapan Am Velodrome, home of the track cycling events for the Games.

As host nation, Canada will be fielding the maximum 24 cyclists across all disciplines, representing the largest cycling team at the Pan Am Games. A total of 16 cyclists will race in the Track and Road events, in addition to four in Mountain Bike and four in BMX.

Competing in Track Cycling will be Hamilton’s Sean MacKinnon in the Men’s Team Pursuit race and in the men’s Road Race and men’s Time Trial.

Fonthill’s Joseph Veloce will challenge in the men’s Sprint, men’s Team Sprint, and men’s Keirin.

Erin Hartwell of Dundas was chosen to coach in Track and Sprint while Milton native Ian Melvin will coach cyclists in Track Men’s Endurance.

Looking after the bikes for Road and Track events will be mechanic Dan Peters of Hamilton.

Historically, Canada has won 43 medals in cycling at the Pan Am Games: 21 gold, nine silver and 13 bronze. Three cyclists nominated to Team Canada have previously won medals at the Pan Am Games: Laura Brown (2011), Jasmin Glaesser (2011) and Catharine Pendrel (2007).

The cycling competition will take place at multiple venues and include the following events:

Road Cycling: men’s and women’s road race, Ontario Place West Channel, July 25; men’s and women’s individual time trial, Milton Time Trial Course, July 22;

Track Cycling: men’s and women’s team pursuit, men’s and women’s team sprint, men’s and women’s sprint, men’s and women’s keirin, men’s and women’s omnium, Cisco Milton Pan Am/Parapan Am Velodrome, July 16-19;

BMX: men’s and women’s, Centennial Park Pan Am BMX Centre, July 11;

Mountain Bike: men’s and women’s cross-country, Hardwood Mountain Bike Park, July 12.

Two key legacy projects that were born out of the 2015 Pan Am Games will bring long-term benefits to the cycling sports. For track cycling, the main centrepiece will be the game-changing world-class velodrome built in Milton, ON – one of only three internationally-sanctioned covered velodromes in North America. It is anticipated that the permanent BMX track at Centennial Park in Etobicoke, located south of Toronto Pearson International Airport, will also bring a wave of new athletes to Eastern Canada.

Canada will field the largest team in its Pan American Games history with more than 700 athletes expected to be named to the Team at the Games in Toronto. With TORONTO 2015 providing a “home Games” experience, as well as a number of qualification opportunities for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, these Games will offer a tremendous experience for Canada’s high performance athlete.

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