There will be nine athletes riding for team Canada at the third UCI e-sports world championships on Feb. 18, held on Zwift. Cycling Canada made the squad announcement on Monday in advance of the big race.
The women’s squad will be comprised of masters road champion Josée Rossignol, road cyclists Megan Rathwell and Myriam Paquet, and road racer Marien Lawson. They will be joined by e-sports specialist Monilee Keller, who qualified through the Continental Qualifier.
On the men’s side, para-cycling pilot and Paralympian Jean-Michel Lachance will ride along with 2019 Canadian e-sports champion Warren Muir and Thomas Thrall. They will be joined by former pro roadie Travis Samuel.
“With the winter climate in Canada, it’s no surprise that we’re a nation that’s very strong in the global Esports community and will bring an exceptional team to the 2023 e-sports world championships,” Tristen Chernove, team Canada’s directeur sportif for the event, said. “The athletes comprise a nice mix of both returning team members from last year and new athletes being selected from varied cycling discipline backgrounds.”
This year’s races will follow a new format, consisting of three short and explosive events, called The Punch, The Climb and The Podium.
The Punch will see the 100 riders do a 13.8km race over rolling terrain. This first race will be crucial, as only the top 30 will qualify for the next race, with the rest being eliminated from the competition.
The second race will see the remaining 30 riders start The Climb. The Climb will consist of hill repetitions on a hill climb, with a total length of 8.5 km and 162 m of vertical gain. Only the top 10 finishers of both categories will advance to the next stage, The Podium.
The Podium will take place on the last of the three new circuits containing short, challenging climbs, and will see riders fighting for position, as one rider is eliminated through each archway until three riders remain. These riders will then battle it out to the finish in a bid to win the title of UCI world champion.
Mairen Lawson – Grande Praire, AB
Megan Rathwell – Victoria, BC
Myriam Paquet – Montréal, QC
Monilee Keller – Redmond, WA
Josée Rossignol – Victoriaville, QC
Jean-Michel Lachance – Québec, QC
Travis Samuel – Peterborough, ON
Warren Muir – Calgary, AB
Thomas Thrall – Nashville, TN