May 8, 2010 (Aguascalientes, Mexico) – The Canadian Team had a rough start to the Pan American Championships with long lay overs and almost every member of the road team having a piece of luggage lost upon their arrival in Aguascalientes, Mexico. Denise Ramsden was one of the riders who didn’t think her bike would make it in time for the time trial and was planning on riding another teammate’s road bike, but the time trial bike arrived the night before and was race-ready this morning.
Denise and Laura Brown were the first ones to take to the start line at the 2010 Pan American Championships in the Individual Time Trial no Saturday with no Canadian men competing in the event. Laura was a last minute entry in the time trail as news was received on Tuesday that current World Omnium and Points Race Champion Tara Whitten has a broken elbow and needs surgery.
Denise’s bad luck continued as her contact lens fell out during the race, she hit a patch of gravel, and fell, though managed to finish the race in 11th place. Laura, who raced the Team Pursuit at Track World Cups and World Championships this past season, was competing in her first international time trial and finished in 5th place.
“I have some work to do on my TT bike this summer since my winter was devoted to the track. I don’t feel that strong on the climbs yet. So I’m pretty pumped on my 5th place finish. And due to unfortunate circumstances about Tara I was given the opportunity and I wish her well. I was pretty excited this morning as I have been wanting to do a time trial for a while.”
Denise and Laura will be joined by Joelle Numainville and Stephanie Roorda in the road race with Charles Dionne and Jean-Michel Lachance toeing the line for the men. Charles was another rider whose bike has been missing; however, word has been received that his bike has arrived as well as the mechanic’s tools. Several riders are still missing luggage that contain their clothing and fingers are crossed that everything will be received tomorrow.
The track riders have also arrived in Aguascalientes and had their first training session on the new 250 meter wood Velodrome. The track sits at 1,889m of altitude in a pressurized bubble and is still under final construction.
Daniele Defranceschi commented on the team’s first training session. “We got up on the track and did our usual warm up and the feeling in our lungs was not that great. We think it’s more of the combination of dry air inside the velodrome with saw dust particles that gave us the coughs. The men endurance riders did one flying 2k team pursuit effort in our warm up gear with half lap changes to get used to the corners and we were done for the day after a quick cool down. The sprinters did a few jumps and were also done for the day. Tomorrow we will throw on some big gears and try to go fast for the first time. We’re all excited about that.”
The track team will begin racing on May 11th and consists of:
– Monique Sullivan (AB)
– Laura Brown (BC)
– Steph Roorda (BC)
– Travis Smith (AB)
– Stephane Cossette (QC)
– Joseph Veloce (ON)
– Remi Pelletier-Roy (QC)
– Jean-Michel Lachance (QC)
– Daniele Defranceschi (ON)
– Mark MacDonald (AB)