June 19, 2008 (Saint-Georges, Beauce) – The CCA released the names of Canada’s 2008 Road and Paralympic Team for Beijing earlier today at the press conference in Saint-Georges, Beauce for the upcoming 2008 Tim Hortons National Road Championships. Here’s the official release and composition of the road and paralympic teams as of today with some selections pending.
The CCA Nominates its Road Team for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games
The riders for the women are Leigh Hobson of Cambridge, Ont., who earned her selection by posting Canada’s best World Cup result this season with a third place finish last month at the Montreal Road World Cup and Alex Wrubleski of Regina, Sask., with two fourth place finishes on the circuit this season including one at the famed Fleche Wallone race.
A third spot will be named, pending an appeal – the decision will be made public once it has been rendered.
On the men’s side the selections are Ryder Hesjedal of Victoria, BC, who has posted several top-10 international results this season, veteran Michael Barry of Toronto, Ont., an integral member of the successful High Road pro team, and Svein Tuft of Langley, B.C. the 2007 America Tour champion, who is coming off a triple gold medal performance at the Pan Am Championships.
Hesjedal, who is also going to race at the Tour de France this year with his pro team Slipstream-Chipotle, is thrilled to be going to the Olympics.
“Going to the Olympic Games is something I’ve been thinking about doing since Athens (in 2004),” said Hesjedal, during a conference call. “I’m in the best position I’ve ever been and I’ve showed that with my racing this season. I plan on building on my successes.”
“I am extremely happy that I will be able to represent Canada at the Olympics in Beijing,” said Barry in an e-mail from Spain. “In Beijing we will have a strong, competitive team that can perform well on the hard circuit. This will be my third Olympics so I have a good idea of how the race will unfold and what we need to do as a team to achieve a good result.”
Tuft and Hesjedal will also race in the individual time trial.
Wrubleski knows anything is possible in a one-day race at the Olympics. “I know that nothing is out of reach,” said Wrubleski. “We have a really strong team going there.”
Hobson says her World Cup medal performance has given her a lot of confidence. “That was certainly an empowering race for me and our team,” said Hobson. “We really worked well to get back in contention for the medal. It really bodes well for us at the Olympics.”
The selection for the women’s individual time trial at the Olympics will be decided at the national road championships on July 4.
“The course in Beijing is going to be tough,” said Canadian national team coach Vincent Jourdain. “But both our men’s and women’s team members have shown that they can climb with the best and that came into our selection decisions as well.”
Beijing 2008 Road Team
– Ryder Hesjedal
– Michael Barry
– Svein Tuft
– Leigh Hobson
– Alexandra Wrubleski
– Third spot still to be determined (there’s an appeal)
Beijing 2008 Paralympic Team
– Daniel Chalifour and Alexandre Cloutier
– Stephane Cote and Pierre-Olivier Boily
– Jean Quevillon
– Mark Beggs
– Rico Morneau
– Mathilde Hupin and Genevieve Ouellet
– Shauna Whyte
More selections for the Paralympic team are pending by June 30.