September 10, 2007 – Martin Gilbert of Chateauguay, Quebec, and Ryan Mckenzie of Calgary, Alberta, are Canada’s best hope for an Olympic Madison performance. The hand-slinging-duo are already off to a flying start.
The qualifications for the 2008 Beijing Olympics began in May of 2007 with the Pan American Championships, where they finished fifth in the Madison and Gilbert won the Pan American Road Cycling Championship. They added to their points by finishing 3rd at the UCI 6-day race in Aguascalientes (the first UCI 6-Day Podium for Canada in 49 years).
Gilbert and Mckenzie won the UCI Independence day Grand Prix in Colorado Springs followed by a second place finish at the Fastest Man on Wheels Madison in Trexlertown, PA, a UCI category 1 race. They brought their experience home, most recently winning the Madison event at the Tim Hortons 2007 Track Nationals in Dieppe, NB this past weekend.
Gilbert and Mckenzie’s early season success has them currently sitting in third in the UCI international rankings. A top-fifteen placing in the international rankings by March 30th 2008 (the end of the Track Cycling World Championships) will guarantee their position on the start line at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.
Sport Canada and the Canadian Cycling Association have not set aside the budget and have decided not to commit to supporting a Madison team at the 2008 Olympics.
A fund has been set up through a unique site called Givemeaning.com to support Gilbert and Mckenzie to realize their dreams. All donations from North America received through Givemeaning.com are eligible to receive tax receipts.
In addition to donations the team is looking for sponsors that would be interested in backing their endeavors. The goal is to raise enough funds to provide travel and resources for the 2007/08 World Cup races, World Championships and preparation towards the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.
There would be visibility for those sponsors on clothing and/or website and in communication materials relating to the projects.
For more information on the project please visit their page found Givemeaning.com – or feel free to contact them directly here.