Seven athletes will be representing Canada at the 2016 UCI paracycling track world championships in Montichiari, Italy, which get underway from March 17 to 20. The competition is the final qualifying event before the Paralympic Games held later this year, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
The world championships are an important event for the Canadian program because it will give the coaches and athletes a better idea of how preparations are progressing ahead of the Rio Paralympic Games.
Ross Wilson is one of Canada’s strongest medal contenders after a silver medal performance in the men’s C1 category individual pursuit at last year’s event. The Edmonton native will also be competing in the 1000 m time trial. Calgary native Jaye Milley will be also be competing in the C1 category in the same events. He finished fifth in the individual pursuit at last years world championships.
Competing in the individual pursuit and the 1000 m time trial in the C2 category will be Tristen Chernove of Cranbrook, B.C., who is the newest addition to the track team. In the C3 category, Calgary-native Michael Sametz will line up in the same events.
Canada’s lone female representative at the championships is Montreal-native Marie-Claude Molnar, who is competing in the individual pursuit and the 500 m time trial. Molnar finished seventh in the individual pursuit and eighth in the 500 m time trial at the 2015 championships. The final two members of Canada’s squad are Quebec natives, stoker Daniel Chalifour of Mont-Laurier and his pilot Jean-Michel Lachance of Quebec City competing in the tandem pursuit and the 1000 m time trial.
The team is coming out of a training camp in Sangalhos, Portugal which Jacques Landry said has prepared the team well for the championships. “We are confident that we are competitive in the classes we’ve targeted for medal performances,” Landry said. “All riders present at the Sangalhos camp have been posting personal bests. However, with very few track competitions on the international calendar, it is hard to determine where we stand on the world stage. We will see over the next week.”