September 3, 2008 (Ottawa, ON) – Four Olympic team members, including top-10 finishers Michael Barry of Hamilton and Svein Tuft of Langley, B.C., headline the Canadian team for the world road cycling championships in Varese, Italy, September 22-28, announced today the Canadian Cycling Association.
Tuft finished a remarkable seventh in the men’s time trial in Beijing and is scheduled to race the same event at the worlds.
Barry took ninth spot in the men’s road race at the Olympics and will be joined in the event at the worlds by Canadian champion Christian Meier of Langley and Dominique Rollin of Boucherville, Que. Tuft and FranÃ§ois Parisien of Repentigny, Que., are the alternates for the road race.
“We have an experienced but small men’s team,” said Canadian national team coach Vincent Jourdain. “Mike was in the top-10 in the road race at the 2003 worlds and the Olympics and we’re going to build around him. He’s excited and confident. And Svein really believes he can improve on his Olympic result in the time trial.”
There are also two Olympians on the women’s team with Canadian champion Alex Wrubleski of Regina and Erinne Willock of Victoria. They are joined on the road race team by Anne Samplonius of Montreal, Felicia Gomez of Fredericton and national under-23 champ Julie Beveridge of Calgary.
“Alex got a top-10 finish last year and we’re aiming for a similar result again with the women,” said Jourdain. “It’s an improved team and even a top-five is within our reach.”
Samplonius and Beveridge are scheduled to race in the individual time trial with Wrubleski and Gomez the alternates. The women’s team will also compete at the Giro de Toscana in Italy September 16-21.
Canada is also fielding a men’s Espoir team (under-23) for the world championships. David Veilleux of Cap-Rouge, Que., and Ã‰ric Boily of Jonquiere, Que., are assured spots on the team while the three other spots will be determined at events leading up to the worlds.
In contention for those spots are Dave Vuckets of Toronto, Joel Dion-Poitras of Cowansville, Que., Charly Vives of Montreal, Mark Batty of Brookline, Ont., and Arnaud Papillon of Longueuil, Que., who’ll look to gains world spots with strong performances at the Tour de l’Avenir in France from September 5-14. That team will also include Boily. Ryan Anderson of Victoria is another contender for a worlds spot and his measuring stick is the Tour of Missouri, which also includes Veilleux, from September 8-14.