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2016 Road World Championships Preview

by Ben Andrew

October 08, 2016 (Doha, Qatar) – The UCI Road World Championships, the biggest event on the 2016 road cycling calendar, start on Sunday in Doha, Qatar and run from Oct. 9-16. Team Canada has one of the most robust squads ever with 25 athletes poised to do battle with the world’s best roadies.

Doha  ©
The Elite men’s and women’s Team Time Trials kick off the week of racing, with the ITTs next for the Junior, U23 and Elite categories. The competitions conclude with the Junior, U23, and Elite road races as the championships wrap up on Oct. 16. With the largest, and perhaps strongest roster of Canadians taking the start in recent memory, these Road Worlds are sure to provide lots of excitement.

Canucks motorpacing  ©
The pro peloton and the 25 Canucks racing in Doha will likely face harsh conditions due to high temperatures which are forecasted to reach nearly 40 Celsius. The UCI announced earlier this week that a team would be on site in Doha to monitor the temperatures, and are prepared to shorten the road race events if necessary – the Elite men’s race could drop to 106km from 257.5km, and the junior, U23 and Elite women may also see a reduction in the number of laps completed if temperatures are too high. The UCI will also be providing neutral services with water and ice for riders to help combat the oppressive heat.

Canadian team for #doha2016 celebrate Rosh Hashanah at a kibbutz during heat-camp  ©

Team Canada riders not racing the TTT have been preparing for the Worlds since September 25th with a training camp in Israel, backed by the Bridge the Gap fund and Sylvan Adams, who also supports Israel’s Cycling Academy Team with Canucks Guillaume Boivin and newly signed Benjamin Perry.

“Without his incredible support this year’s Worlds project would never be happening,” said Kevin Field, Directeur Sportif at Cycling Canada. “For me, this year is another confirmation that our improved relationships with road athletes, teams and extended stakeholders is working. We’re taking very targeted approaches to road, with a focus on qualification and team-based race execution.”

Tuft takes the last turn at the front  ©  Chris Redden
The 40km Elite men’s and women’s Team Time Trial will see riders compete with their respective UCI teams rather than with their national team. Boivin (Cycling Academy), Hugo Houle (AG2R La Mondiale), and Svein Tuft (Orica-BikeExchang), along with four women; Karol-Ann Canuel Canuel (Boels Dolmans), Joelle Numainville (Cervelo Bigla) and Annie Foreman-Mackey and Alison Jackson (Twenty16-Ridebiker) will take the start. With Tuft and Orica-BikeExchange placing just off the podium in 4th last year, look for another strong showing on Sunday. Canuel, who signed with Boels Dolmans this season, also has a strong chance of revisiting the top step of the podium with her new squad.

Karol-Ann Canuel  ©  Pasquale Stalteri

Eight Canadians will race against the clock in the Individual Time Trial. Junior Women include Erin Attwell (BC) and Laurie Juassaume (QC), while Matthew Staples and Nickolas Zukowsky from Ontario will take the start for the Junior Men. Alec Cowan (AB) and Sean MacKinnon (ON) will race in the U23 event on Oct. 10. Canuel (QC) is the lone starter for the Elite women, and it’s likely the former national champ will have a strong race.

Ryan Roth  ©  Ivan Rupes

For the Elite men, newly crowned national champion Ryan Roth and Houle are both capable of strong performances. With riders completing laps of a technical course located on an artificial island called The Pearl, riding skills may play a large part in determining the winner. The Elite men’s 40km event begins with a series of U-turns and roundabouts at the Lusail Sports Complex before letting riders settle into a rhythm as they head towards downtown Doha. They will then head out onto The Pearl to the finish.

Erin Atwell wins  ©  Pasquale Stalteri

Matthew Staples, Nickolas Zukowsky  ©  Ivan Rupes
Road Races
The Junior and U23 men’s road races will use the same Pearl course as the ITT with strong riders who will be eager to contend. The Elite women’s race will start remotely from the Qatar Foundation on the West side of Doha. Racers will then circle around the city, finally completely seven laps of the 15.2km circuit on The Pearl. The Elite Men’s race will also start remotely in Doha. Riders will then head north towards the Ras Laffan Industrial City before returning along the Arabian Gulf to complete seven laps of The Pearl circuit.

Perry and Dal-Cin in the  ©  Pasquale Stalteri
With large contingents in all races, strong team work could pay dividends for Canadian riders. The flat nature of the courses will likely result in field sprints for most events however strong winds and the heat could hamper the efforts of some riders. In the Elite women’s race, both Kirchmann, who was 2nd overall in final UCI standings this year, and Numainville, who’s been coming on strong with a podium at the GP de Plouay-Bretagne World Cup and 4th at La Course, have proven to be fast finishers.

Kirchmann and Numainville  ©  Pasquale Stalteri

For the Elite men, Antoine Duchesne, the top Canadian last year in Richmond, will be looking to improve while Adam de Vos, who was 9th last year in the U23 Men’s race, could surprise. Ryan Anderson, Roth, Houle and Boivin are all capable of strong results as well.


“Last year we were able to carry that through successfully with great team performances in both men’s races. Adam’s [de Vos] ninth place [2015 Road World Championships] was a big success for our U23 men,” said Field. “My hope is that we keep that trend rolling in Doha. I think our camp in Israel is perfect prep to keep our riders race sharp, with the long gap between Montreal [WorldTour race] and Doha.  We have really solid options with our U23 men – we’ve shown surprising consistency and results over the past 6 years. I’m optimistic for our elite men, however, that game is a going to be a bit tougher.”

Team Canada – Road Worlds 2016

U23 Men
– Alec Cowan (Calgary AB) TT, RR
– David Drouin (St-Prosper QC) RR
– Sean MacKinnon (Hamilton ON) TT, RR
– Nicolas Masbourian (Montreal QC) RR
– Benjamin Perry (St. Catharines ON) RR

Elite Women
– Sara Bergen (Coquitlam BC) RR
– Karol-Ann Canuel (Amos QC) TT, RR
– Annie Foreman-Mackey (Kingston ON) RR
– Alison Jackson (Vermilion AB) RR
– Leah Kirchmann (Winnipeg MB) RR
– Joelle Numainville (Laval QC) RR

Elite Men
– Ryan Anderson (Spruce Grove AB) RR
– Guillaume Boivin (Montreal QC) RR
– Adam de Vos (Victoria BC) RR
– Antoine Duchesne (Chicoutimi QC) RR
– Hugo Houle (St-Perpetue QC) TT, RR
– Ryan Roth (Guelph ON) TT, RR

Junior Women
– Erin Attwell (Victoria BC) RR & TT
– Laurie Jussaume (Contrecoeur QC) RR & TT
– Devaney Collier (Edmonton AB) RR
– Maggie Coles-Lyster (Maple Ridge BC) RR

Junior Men
– Matthew Staples (Oro-Medonte ON) RR & TT
– Nickolas Zukowsky (Dundas ON) RR & TT
– Charles-Étienne Chrétien (Amos QC) RR
– Thierry Kirouac-Marcassa (Boucherville QC) RR

Road Worlds 2016 Schedule

Oct 9 – Team Time Trial – Elite Women – 40 km
Oct 9 – Team Time Trial – Elite Men – 40 km
Oct 10 – Junior Women – Individual Time Trial – 13.7 km
Oct 10 – U23 Men – Individual Time Trial – 28.9 km
Oct 11 – Junior Men – Individual Time Trial – 28.9 km
Oct 11 – Elite Women – Individual Time Trial – 28.9 km
Oct 12 – Elite Men – Individual Time Trial – 40 km
Oct 13 – U23 Men – Road Race – 166 km
Oct 14 – Junior Women – Road Race – 74.5 km
Oct 14 – Junior Men – Road Race – 135.5 km
Oct 15 – Elite Women – Road Race – 134.5 km
Oct 16 – Elite Men – Road Race – 257.5 km

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