March 13/08 1:34 am - Canadian Track Worlds Team Takes Shape
Posted by Editor on 03/13/08
Canadian Track Worlds Team Takes Shape
It is less than two weeks to the 2008 Track Worlds, to be held in Manchester, England. While Worlds are always important, this year it offers the final opportunity to score the ranking points necessary to gain entry to the Olympics. For Canadian riders this is particularly crucial, since none have met the criteria for Beijing at this point.
At present, the team is:
Zach Bell - Scratch and Points Races
Gina Grain - Scratch and Points Races
Martin Gilbert - Madison
Ryan Mackenzie - Madison
Travis Smith - Sprint
Tara Whitten - Individual Pursuit
Cam MacKinnon has also qualified for the Sprint, but at this time it appears he will not attend Worlds.
Zach Bell and Gina Grain are both close to meeting the qualification criteria for their respective Points Races, and should make it if they reach the finals in their events. However, Bell is recovering from serious injury suffered in an Australian crash a few days ago. The Madison team of Gilbert and Mackenzie are in good shape, but will need to make the Madison final and score points.
Travis Smith (who did not qualify for the Keirin) has been struggling back from the serious injury he suffered at last year's Worlds. He will need to qualify for the elimination rounds of the Sprint, and likely needs to go forward through at least one round.
Tara Whitten, who has made enormous strides in her first year on the World Cup circuit, has an outside chance of qualifying for Beijing, but it will probably take a top-6 placing to do so.