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2006 Track World Championships Preview

April 12, 2006 – The CCA selected 6 Canadian Track National Team to represent Canada at the 2006 Track World Championships in Bordeaux, from April 13 to 16. The greatest track champions, 300 athletes from 38 countries in total, will battle at the Velodrome of Bordeaux Lac for the World Champion title. All the 2005 World Champions in the various disciplines are taking part in the event. We had a chance to speak to all the athletes and get their comments just one day prior to race day.

The Canadian Team is led by the six following members:

– Travis Smith – Calgary, AB
– Cam Mackinnon – Calgary, AB
– Yannik Morin – Montreal, QC
– Martin Gilbert – Chateauguay, QC
– Zach Bell – Watson Lake, YK
– Gina Grain – Vancouver, BC

Their participation in the events this weekend is as follows:

– Team Sprint: Smith, Mackinnon, Morin
– Sprint: Smith
– Keirin: Smith
– Kilo: Mackinnon, Morin
– Individual Pursuit: Bell
– Points race: Gilbert
– Scratch race: Gilbert

– Points race: Grain
– Scratch race: Grain

Coach Eric Van den Eynde is attending, as well as High Performance Manager Sean O’Donnell.

Here are the comments we gathered from each of the athletes:

Travis Smith (Calgary, AB):
“I was a little nervous coming to Worlds. It seemed to take me a while to get over the Commonwealth Games as I think I crashed pretty hard when I got home. It’s only this week, now that we are here in Bordeaux that I am starting to feel better. I’m getting excited for Worlds and am looking forward to racing hard and seeing what happens.”

Yannik Morin (Montreal, QC):
“It has been a long and hard season. I’ve been on the hot seat in the Team Sprint all season long and once again I am looking forward to strengthening my position on the team with a solid performance in the Team Sprint. I am hoping that we can better our Canadian record this week.”

Cam Mackinnon (Calgary, AB):
“I think I’ve gotten better as the season has gone on and I feel happy with how the season has gone in general. There have been some up and downs throughout the season,but more ups than downs and everyone is feeling good coming out of Melbourne. We’re focused on setting a new Canadian record in the Team Sprint and will push hard for that.I’d like to also better my time in the Kilo from what I posted at the Commonwealth Games.”

Zach Bell (Watson Lake, YK):
“I’m feeling good coming into Worlds. I have only one event here, the IP, and that has forced me to only focus on that one event and put everything I have into it. I’m confident coming out of Melbourne. Training here has been good and I am feeling better here than I did at Melbourne. My goal is to do a better ride here and hopefully do as well or better my time from the Commonwealth Games.”

Gina Grain (Vancouver, BC):
“I’m really excited about participating in my first World Championships. I’ve worked really hard to get here. Lately there has been a lot of racing in a very short period of time. I’m a little tired coming in, but I know I can put forth a similar effort like I did in Melbourne where I may have raced my two best events to date. I will have to suffer though – it won’t be easy. This is part of being an elite athlete – being asked to perform even when you don’t feel up to par. Eric has been superb this week offering words of encouragement and helping everyone deal with the stress of a lot of racing in a short period of time. I’m looking forward to racing on later on this week.”

Schedule of Events

Thursday April 13:
– 500m time trial
– Women’s individual pursuit
– Team sprint
– Men’s points race

Friday April 14:
– Women’s points race
– Men’s individual pursuit
– Kilo
– Men’s Keirin

Saturday April 15:
– Men’s scratch
– Women’s sprint
– Team pursuit

Sunday April 16:
– Women’s scratch
– Men’s sprint
– Madison
– Women’s keirin

Thanks to our Canadian National Team partners Tim Hortons and H&R Block.

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