Announced today by Commonwealth Games Canada and Cycling Canada, 18 athletes — nine women and nine men — will wear the maple leaf throughout the cycling events of the XXI Commonwealth Games, happening from April 5 to 14 in Gold Coast, Australia.
Canada’s athletes will compete in Gold Coast across three disciplines: track, mountain bike and road.
Kris Westwood, team leader for cycling, remarked on the significance of the Commonwealth Games for Canadian riders. “One the one hand, it’s a highly competitive event that gives our veteran athletes a shot at career highlight performances,” he said. “On the other hand it’s an opportunity to give valuable major Games experience to our future Olympians.” And with a world-class field descending on Australia in April, representing countries like Great Britain, New Zealand and the host nation itself, there’s an opportunity for the Canadian squad to test the progress it’s made since the 2014 Games in Glasgow, four years ago.
“Four years ago,” Westwood said, “the men’s Team Pursuit program was just getting off the ground; now, we’re heading to the Games with a seasoned, competitive squad.”
Track events will kick off competition in Gold Coast, where athletes will vie for 20 gold medals. Team Pursuit, a discipline that has been especially strong for Canadian women in past events — bronze at the last two Olympic games, as well as gold in World Cup competition — joins Team Sprint as a new category in the schedule of events at the Commonwealth Games for 2018. Allison Beveridge, a veteran of that World Cup squad, will anchor the Team Pursuit efforts for Canadian riders in Australia.
“I’m really looking forward to my first Commonwealth Games,” Beveridge remarked. “The Games are quite close to the world championships, which are always a major goal and will provide some challenges, but preparation for both are coming along well and the team is getting closer on and off the bikes.”
“Hopefully,” she said, “the team will also be able to have some individual strengths shine through in the various events.”
Canadian powerhouses will also round out the ranks of the Team Sprint events, with two World Cup medalists, Iles-de-la-Madeleine, Quebec’s Hugo Barrette and Edmonton’s Stefan Ritter, throwing their momentum behind Canada’s quest for the gold. In mountain biking, meanwhile, Canadian athletes will strive to continue the performances that have made the country a global force in the discipline, particularly at the Commonwealth Games — taking gold in every women’s competition and a total of 8 out of 18 medals.
Led by Emily Batty of Brooklin, Ont., the women’s mountain biking ranks will also include Hayley Smith of Uxbridge, Ont., while the men’s competition will feature Leandre Bouchard, who represented Canada at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
“With the 2018 race season looming on the horizon,” Batty said, “I come into the season with new motivation, and the Commonwealth Games will be a great race to begin with. I’ve made some major changes this year, and it will be interesting to see how some of those changes translate to racing and, in particular, a significant Games event. To represent Canada on the international stage is an absolute honour as always, and one I will never take for granted.”
In Gold Coast, road events — races for which Canada’s track endurance athletes will fill the roster for the women’s and men’s road races and time trials — will wrap up cycling competition.
Looking ahead to the competition this spring, Claire Carver-Dias, Chef de Mission for Canada’s 2018 Commonwealth Games team, is optimistic about what the events of Gold Coast, Australia will bring for Canadian athletes, particularly in cycling. “Whether it’s on the road, on the velodrome track, or down the mountain, the fast-paced sport of cycling is always capitvating,” she said. “With three medals four years ago, and a returning medalist in Emily Batty on the team, our 18 Canadian athletes are bound to contend for top spots at the Commonwealth Games once again in Gold Coast.”
Women’s Track Endurance & Road
Allison Beveridge – Calgary, Alberta [Team Pursuit, Road Race] Ariane Bonhomme – Gatineau, Quebec [Team Pursuit, Road Race] Annie Foreman-Mackey – Kingston, Ontario [Team Pursuit, Individual Time Trial, Road Race] Kinley Gibson – Edmonton, Alberta [Team Pursuit, Road Race] Stephanie Roorda – Vancouver, BC [Team Pursuit, Individual Time Trial, Road Race] Alternate: Devaney Collier – Edmonton, Alberta
Men’s Track Endurance & Road
Aidan Caves – Vancouver, BC [Team Pursuit, Road Race] Michael Foley – Milton, Ontario [Team Pursuit, Road Race] Derek Gee – Ottawa, Ontario [Team Pursuit, Individual Time Trial, Road Race] Adam Jamieson – Barrie, Ontario [Team Pursuit, Individual Time Trial, Road Race] Jay Lamoureux – Victoria, BC [Team Pursuit, Individual Time Trial, Road Race] Alternate: Bayley Simpson – Lindsay, Ontario
Tegan Cochrane – Kelowna, BC
Amelia Walsh – Ayr, Ontario
Alternate: Lauriane Genest – Levis, Quebec
Hugo Barrette – Iles-de-la-Madeleine, QC
Stefan Ritter – Edmonton, Alberta
Patrice St-Louis Pivin – Sherbrooke, Quebec
Alternate: Joel Archambault – St-Christine, Quebec
Women’s Mountain Bike
Emily Batty – Brooklin, Ontario
Haley Smith – Uxbridge, Ontario
Alternate: Sandra Walter – Coquitlam, BC
Men’s Mountain Bike
Leandre Bouchard – Alma, Quebec
Alternate: Peter Disera – Horseshoe Valley, Ontario