Canada will be represented by 25 riders at the 2019 UCI Road World Championships in Yorkshire, UK from Sept. 22 to 29. Canada sends a deep team of junior, under-23 and elite riders to contest the road race and individual time trials. Canada will start six riders in both the elite men’s and women’s road races thanks to a steady haul of UCI points by Canadian riders. Canada will be looking to build on the exceptional double bronze medal performance from the 2018 Innsbruck worlds last year when Simone Boilard (junior women) and Michael Woods (elite men) both earned podium spots.
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Canada’s elite men’s team for 2019 will once again be lead by Woods who’s been training in Canada after completing his first career Tour de France. The Ottawa-native is set to start the Grand Prix Cyclistes de Quebec et Montreal on Sept. 13 and 15 to build towards Yorkshire. Alongside him will start Astana’s super domestique Hugo Houle, who just signed a three-year extension with Astana and had an exceptional 2019 riding the Tour de France and Arctic Tour of Norway ahead of the GPCQM. Montreal-native James Piccoli earned a spot on the national team after a breakthrough 2019 season. They are joined by Guillaume Boivin, Antoine Duchesne and Benjamin Perry.
“It’s always a great opportunity to represent Canada at the World Championships, especially with a great leader like Mike Woods,” said Houle. “I have been in excellent physical condition since the Tour de France – it was really important for me to be in the best possible shape for this competition in order to support Mike until the end of the race. He showed us he could be world champion in Innsbruck, and he needs teammates who live up to his performances.”
Road champion and sixth-place finisher from last year’s worlds, Karol-Ann Canuel will be joined by the fast-finishing Alison Jackson, Sara Poidevin, Marie-Soleil Blais, Gillian Ellsay and one other rider yet to be named to the elite women’s squad. The team will be lacking Leah Kirchmann who was coming into fine form but suffered a MCL knee injury at the Boels Ladies Tour that ruled her out of the rest of the season.
“Our women were our stand-out performers last year in Austria” said team manager, Kevin Field. “We faced some injuries and setbacks this year – that’s all part of sport. Challenge is something these girls don’t shy away from and we’re ready to bring a good game to Yorkshire.”
The U23 men’s selection is headlined by Nickolas Zukowsky who recently signed for Rally UHC after completing the Tour de l’Avenir. Time trial specialist Adam Roberge, Evan Burtnik and Rally UHC sprinter Pier-André Côté also start alongside Zukowsky. The junior women’s team is headlined by road, ITT and crit champion Magdeleine Vallières-Mill. First-year juniors, road champion Raphael Parisella and time trial champion Jacob Rubuliak, start for Canada in the junior men’s competitions.
“I’m less concerned about results in our developing categories,” said Field. “We have very high potential athletes in these age groups; however, the goal of this event is to learn and experience, with a focus on process that we can leverage to springboard them forward. I have no doubts we can do that.”
The world championships begin on Monday, Sept. 23 with junior competitions and conclude on Sunday, Sept 29 with the elite men’s road race.
Team Canada for the 2019 UCI Road World Championships
Guillaume Boivin – Montreal [RR] Antoine Duchesne – Saguenay, Que. [RR] Hugo Houle – Sainte-Perpétue, Que. [TT, RR] Benjamin Perry – St.Catharines, Ont. [RR] James Piccoli – Montreal [RR] Mike Woods – Ottawa [RR]
Marie-Soleil Blais – Saint-Rosaire, Que. [RR] Karol-Ann Canuel – Gatineau, Que. [TT, RR] Gillian Ellsay – Courtenay, B.C. [RR] Alison Jackson – Vermilion, Alta. [RR] Sara Poidevin – Canmore, Alta. [RR] Other rider – TBD
Evan Burtnik – Edmonton [RR] Pier-André Côté – Levis, Que. [RR] Adam Roberge – Montreal [TT] Nickolas Zukowsky – Ste-Lucie-des-Laurentides, Que. [TT, RR]
Adèle Desgagnés – Montreal [RR] Laury Milette – Gatineau, Que. [RR] Camille Primeau – Rosemère, Que. [TT, RR] Magdeleine Vallières-Mill – Sherbrooke, Que. [TT, RR]
Lukas Carreau – La Prairie, Que. [RR] Tristan Jussaume – Contrecoeur, Que. [TT] Raphael Parisella – Boucherville, Que. [RR] Riley Pickrell – Victoria [RR] Jacob Rubuliak – Kelowna, B.C. [TT, RR]