Some news from Canada as the Winter Olympics coming to an end in Vancouver.
Clara Hughes. In her last Olympic Games, 18-time Canadian national cycling champion Hughes captured one more medal, the bronze in the 5,000 metres speed skating. That makes it six Olympic medals for the Canadian with four medals in long track speed skating and two in cycling at the 1996 Atlanta Summer Games.
Following her medal this year, Hughes decided to donate her entire $10,000 winner’s bonus to the Take a Hike Foundation. This is not the first time for the generous 37-year old who also gave $10K of her own money, as there were no medal bonuses, to Right to Play after her first gold medal at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin
Katie Compton. US National Cross Champion Compton has confirmed her attendance in the Paris to Ancaster on April 18 2010. The 60km (37 mile) Paris to Ancaster has taken place for the past sixteen years over the roughest farm lanes, trails and gravel roads in Ontario, Canada. According to the race organizer, Compton will be available for a Q and A session and will participate in the guided pre ride in addition to racing.
Team Nanoblur/Gears. A new Canadian women’s team will be seen in the peloton this year. Led by former Canadian National Time Trial Champion Anne Samplonius and 2008 Olympian Leigh Hobson, the 7-rider team consists of Joanie Caron, Anne Guzman, Krystal Jeffs, Véronique Labonté and Kaitlin Michener. The team schedule includes Redlands Bicycle Classic, Joe Martin Stage Race, Fitchburg Lonsjo and Cascade Cycling Classic.
2010 U23 Men’s Spring European Program. Six riders – Antoine Duchesne, Owen Harrison, Michael Joanisse, Keir Plaice, Jamie Riggs and Spencer Smitheman – were chosen to represent Canada during the U23 Spring European program from April 1st to the 31st, 2010, including Tour of Flanders, La Cote Picarde, ZLM Tour and Belgium National races and Kermesses. The team will stay at the CCA’s National Team base in Tielt, Belgium.
Canadian Track Team for Worlds. From CCA: A successful track season which included one Pan Am record, five Canadian Records and seven medals at the Panamerican Championships and six medals at two World Cups, earned the Canadian team starts in 11 events at the World Track Championships in Copenhagen March 24-28, 2010.
Team veteran and Olympian Zach Bell will compete in the Points Race and Scratch Race. He won gold medals in both of these events at the World Cup in Beijing and is currently ranked second in the World in the points race. At the 2009 World Championships Bell gained a wild card entry into the omnium, a new Olympic event, and came home with the silver medal. He finds himself in the same position going in to Copenhagen and does not currently have a start position.
Veteran of the National Team Program Travis Smith will compete in the Sprint and Keirin. He has had his strongest season so far since crashing and breaking his hip in 2007 and is pleased with how his training is going heading in to Worlds.
Smith will be joined by Stephane Cossette and Joseph Veloce for the Team Sprint. The team started their partnership with a bang by posting the third fastest time in qualifying at the third World Cup in Cali where they finished 4th. All three members are training in LA before leaving for Worlds where they hope put together a fast and technical perfect performance and improve on their 8th place World ranking.
Monique Sullivan will represent Canada in the 500 meter time trial and the Keirin. She has placed in the top 10 in both events in World Cups and is looking to do the same in Copenhagen.
World Silver medalist in the Omnium last year Tara Whitten is looking to take one more step on the podium this year. She will compete in the Individual Pursuit and Points Race, events that she is currently ranked 3rd and 4th in the World respectively. Laura Brown, Steph Roorda, and reserve rider Julia Bradley will join Whitten in the Team Pursuit. This team has set a new Canadian record 3 of the 4 times they have raced internationally and placed on the podium each time winning a gold and bronze medal. Currently ranked 3rd in the World, these determined women have their sites set high for the World Championships.
Most of the team have set up a home base in Los Angeles over the winter months and will head to the Netherlands for a training camp before arriving in Copenhagen on March 20th.