by: Sean Mackinnon
On Jan. 30, the 2020 Para-Cycling Track World Championships will kick off in Milton, ON. Canadian athletes Tristen Chernove and Ross Wilson, will both be racing in the the endurance events, Chernove in C2 and Wilson in C1. Lowell Taylor and pilot Ed Veal will race in tandem events and Marie-Claude Molnar and Keely Shaw will compete in C4 races. The Canadians will be joined by 31 other nations competing at the championships. This event will mark the first World Championships held at the Milton venue since the facility was finished in 2015 ahead of the Pan American and Parapan American Games. Canada looks to be fielding a strong team that will be competitive in a number of the events taking place over the four day event.
Para-Cycling Track World Championships will host a number of events across varying classifications. In track cycling these categories are as follows: B1-B3 for blind and visually impaired athletes riding tandem bikes with a pilot and C1-C5 categories which include amputee, Cerebral Palsy and traumatic brain-injured athletes. All of the C categories use regular track bikes. The events at the championships are split between both sprint and endurance events for men and women. On the sprint side events include tandem sprint, team sprint and the Kilo/500m event, the endurance events include the individual pursuit along with the scratch races across respective categories.
“Racing on our home track in Milton is a privilege and will be a great way to showcase what our amazing athletes can achieve,” said Cycling Canada’s para-cycling head coach Sébastien Travers. “This event should trigger the much-needed awareness around para sports and more specifically para-cycling. We hope that it will be a driver for persons with disabilities to engage in sports and experience the uniqueness of competition.” Travers went on to emphasize that this year’s World Championships are also the final chance for athletes to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic games, bringing even greater importance to the championships. The exposure for Canada’s athletes racing at home will be second to none. The event will also show off Canada’s world class facility, which many national team athletes train out of for most of the year.