Three of the Canadian riders who sizzled the boards at Rio 2016 track para-cycling competition will be back on the world stage in 2017, this time as Canada’s representation at the 2017 para-cycling track world championships in Los Angeles, happening between March 2 and 5.
They’ll also be joined by two prospective NextGen riders, Cycling Canada announced, participating in their first championship.
Hailing from Cranbrook, B.C., celebrated paracyclist Tristen Chernove will lead the Canadian squad, with three paralympic medals under his helmet — gold, silver and bronze — establishing him as a medal contender in three different categories: the scratch race, 1,000-metre time trial and individual pursuit competitions. Ross Wilson of Sherwood Park, Alta. will also compete in the individual pursuit and 1,000-metre time tria, while Marie-Claude Molnar of St.-Hubert, Que. will round out Canada’s representation in the 500-metre time trial, individual pursuit and scratch race. Wilson and Molnar both boast double and single-medal results in recent years, respectively.
The Canadian squad’s new additions will include Lachlan Hotchkiss of Surrey, B.C. and Lianne Gibson of Toronto, both of whom are expected to ride in individually-timed and mass-start events in Los Angeles. After obtaining category classification, March’s action in Los Angeles will mark the two riders’ first such events on the global competitive stage.
As Cycling Canada officials say, the competition heralds a return to action for these athletes, after a few months’ downtime following the Rio 2016 Paralympics.
“This will be the first event since the Paralympics for our athletes,” remarked Sebastien Travers, the para-cycling national head coach for Canada. “Given that they had a long transition after the Games and that we only had seven weeks to prepare for this world championships, we cannot expect our athletes to be at 100 per cent for this event. We do expect good performances and will use this event to set benchmarks for this coming quadrennial.”