Six Paralympic medallists will be leading the way for Canada in Maniago, Italy this week as the 2018 UCI Para Cycling Road World Championships race from August 2-5.
Among those in the podium hunt is 43-year-old Tristen Chernove, winner of a gold, silver, and bronze medal at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. He is also a defending world champion from last year’s road races in South Africa.
Shelley Gautier, a bronze medallist at Rio 2016, is a defending world champion as well. She has been dominant in the women’s T1 time trial event over the past several years.
The four other medallists are Marie-Claude Molnar (bronze at London 2012), Charles Moreau (two bronze at Rio 2016), Ross Wilson (two silvers at Rio 2016), and defending world champion Michael Sametz (bronze at Rio 2016).
A total of 12 athletes will be representing Canada in Italy this week. Paralympians Nicole Clermont and Daniel Chalifour and guide Jean-Michel Lachance will be aiming for hardware, as will Keely Shaw, Joey Desjardins, and Alex Hyndman.
“Although we are sending a smaller team to Road Worlds this year, the expectations do remain high,” said Sebastien Travers, Para Head Coach for Cycling Canada, in a press release. “The performances that the athletes will deliver are crucial at this time in the Olympic quadrennial; with all top athletes attending this event, we will have a clear understanding of what needs to be done in the next 24 months to shine in Tokyo.
“We look forward to racing in Maniago and on its challenging courses, as it will showcase what our athletes are capable of.”
As the first world championships within the Tokyo 2020 qualifying period, countries will be starting to earn valuable ranking points towards athlete quotas for the Games.
More than 400 athletes from 46 nations will be competing in Maniago this week, with Canada’s entrants all participating in both the time trial and road races.