The Canadian Road Cycling team has arrived in Melbourne, Australia, to compete in the 2010 UCI Road World Championships from Wednesday September 29 to Sunday October 3.
The team landed “down under” last week, and have been preparing for this major cycling event with training races, course familiarisation, public events and team building exercises to optimize their race results.
The Road World Championships, the biggest international road cycling competition for National cycling teams, starts on Wednesday with the Elite Women’s and U23 Men’s Time Trial races.
The 5-day cycling event draws the deepest international fields in the Elite Women, Elite Men and Under 23 Men’s categories.
Canadian cyclists have high hopes for strong results at the World Championships. Svein Tuft of Langley, BC will be looking to improve on his silver medal at the Time Trial race in 2008. Tuft has had a great season in 2010, including some great recent performances at the UCI ProTour level.
Tara Whitten of Edmonton, Alta and Anne Samplonius of Montreal, Qué., are looking for strong times on the women’s side. Whitten is a double World Champion in Track cycling and finished eighth at the 2009 Road Championships in the Time Trial. Samplonius has also shown excellent form recently, winning a prestigious time trial race in France against the World’s best cyclists.
In the Road Race, Joëlle Numainville of Montréal, Qué. Will be Canada’s top contender for a medal. Numainville will be supported by a strong women’s team. Dominique Rollin of Boucherville, Qué., Tuft and Christian Meier of Sussex, NB will all be strong competitors to watch for in the Men’s race.
The road race course will be challenging, with a possible sprint finish. The 15.8 kilometre course features short and challenging climbs. Canadian Coach Denise Kelly speaks highly of the World Championships course, saying “only a rider at the top of their game will have a chance of winning. No one will be able to hide on the course.”
The women will ride the circuit course for 8 laps for a total distance of 127.2 kilometres, while the men will travel a distance of 262.7 kilometres from the start to the finish line, including a stretch of the freeway bridging Melbourne to Geelong. With flatter sections and a fast downhill section on the course leading to temporary bridge, the key will be how the riders position themselves before the short power climbs to stay near the front of the peloton.
The Time Trial course will use large sections of the Road circuit. “The transitions in the terrain are numerous and gear selection is crucial to maintaining a fluid rhythm,” said Kelly of the course.
For schedules, course map, competitors information and news of the 2010 UCI Road World Championships, please visit: www.melbourne2010.com.au