Posted by Editoress on 03/22/11
Tara Whitten, Laura Brown and Clara Hughes to race for Canada; Stephanie Roorda alternate
The Canadian Cycling Association (CCA) announced the composition of its Women's Team Pursuit to compete for Canada at the 2011 UCI Track Cycling World Championships which starts tomorrow in Apeldoorn, Netherlands.
Based on time trials held between four eligible riders on the track in Apeldoorn, Tara Whitten (Edmonton, AB), Laura Brown (Vancouver, BC) and Clara Hughes (Glen Sutton, QC) have been named the three riders to represent Canada by Head Coach, Richard Wooles. The fourth rider, Stephanie Roorda (Vancouver, BC) will serve as the alternate.
The Women’s Team Pursuit race will be held on Thursday March 24.
"The fact that we are now in a position to choose the best athletes on the moment shows a lot of strength and depth in WTP in Canada. It’s always tough when a rider is left out, but it is great to see new blood in the team," said Richard Wooles, head coach of the Canadian Track Cycling team. “Clara Hughes’ selection to the starting order brings in a new dynamic and an unknown quantity; we are all excited to see the team compete at the upcoming World Championships in Apeldoorn.”
"We are currently in a position where we never have been before. Conducting time trials prior to a competition in order to select a team is certainly a great situation in which to find ourselves. This is one of the many signs that testifies to the strength of the Canadian track program led by Richard Wooles," said Jacques Landry, High Performance Director for the CCA. "The four women that vied for a spot on the World Championship squad are all elite athletes with the potential and the ability to compete successfully at this high level."
The 2011 World Track Championships will signal a return to competitive cycling for Clara Hughes. Her last major cycling race dates back to the 2003 Pan American Games, but she feels her progress has been steady, and sees the World Championships as an opportunity.
"As the saying goes, it's just like riding a bike, albeit faster and a little bit more stressful with no brakes and in the team pursuit formation. This is a new event for me and it's been awesome learning the nuances of it from Steph, Laura, Tara and Coach Tanya Dubnicoff, as well as Head Track Coach Richard Wooles," commented Hughes. "Because I have so much experience with the team pursuit in speed skating, I seem to be picking things up quite fast and this is really motivating. The National Team has been very generous with their support and encouragement since I have returned to cycling and this I am also grateful."
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