May 17, 2010 (Montreal, QC) – Canada’s top women’s cycling team held its official team launch on Monday in the showroom of its Mazda dealer sponsor on Papineau Street in Montreal. Specialized Mazda Samson (SMS) spokesman Marc Wayne Addison introduced the head table – Gerard Penarroya, Michael Desilets, and David Dulude. Penarroya announced that Summer and Winter Olympic medal winner Clara Hughes will be riding again as the team “marraine” (an honorary title). Hughes was recently honoured with a promotion from Member of the Order of Canada to Officer of the Order of Canada. Dulude commented that the team’s objective is to send as many riders as possible to the 2012 London Olympics.
The 2010 Specialized Mazda Samson team, based in Montreal, has an impressive roster with top riders from across Canada. Top team member and Track Worlds double gold medalist Tara Whitten lives in Edmonton while Atlantic Canada’s Moriah Jo MacGregor is now calling Vancouver home. Quebec’s Karol-Ann Canuel and Audrey Lemieux will ride for SMS when in North America, but when racing in Europe will be wearing the jerseys of French-based teams Vienne-Futuroscope and ESGL-GSD Gestion respectively for most of the season. The team launch was the first time that several team members actually met each other.
Trew invited MacGregor to stay with her near Ottawa this summer as there are many races in the East. She is also delighted that the June 13 Grand Prix cycliste de Gatineau will be held only 2km from her home. “It’s not often that events are that nearby,” she added.
Whitten, who only began riding seriously in 2007, said that she feels “amazing” after her recent double gold performance at the 2010 Track Worlds in Copenhagen. She has not finalized her calendar for 2010, but is hoping to compete at the Road World Championships in Melbourne, Australia in late Sept. early Oct.
Whitten added that SMS is essentially her first road team. “I rode with the Atlantic Cycling Centre at the Tour de PEI, and with the Alberta provincial and Canadian national teams, but this is my first real trade team.” Pedal also learned that she will race at the Mardis Lachine series this summer, the first female international champion to do so in the 33 years of the series.
Specialized Mazda Samson 2010 Team Roster
– Emilie Ainsley-Perron
– Karol-Ann Canuel
– Catherine Couture
– Valerie Crete
– Clara Hughes
– Audrey Lemieux
– Moriah Jo MacGregor
– Ariane Patenaude
– Kyla Rollinson
– Jenny Trew
– Tara Whitten
– Mary Zider