Hand cyclist Charles Moreau says this week’s world championships in road Para cycling will be an important measuring stick with the Paralympic Games just over two months away.
‘’We’ve been on pause for a while, so it was great to find out we were going to the world championships,” said Moreau, a double bronze medallist on the road at his first Paralympic Games in Rio five years ago.
''We haven’t competed against an international field in two years while the Europeans had many races last year.”
Moreau, from Victoriaville, Que., is one of nine riders and two pilots who will compete for Canada at the Para Cycling Road World Championships in Cascais, Portugal, running from June 9-13. The competition does not count towards Paralympic Games qualification but serves as a way for athletes to gauge training and competition as they head into the rest of the season.
Three other Paralympians were selected to the squad – tricyclists Shelley Gautier of Toronto and Marie-Ève Croteau of Quebec City, as well as C4 rider Marie-Claude Molnar of Longueuil, Que.
Also headed to Portugal are hand cyclists Matthew Kinnie of Riverview, N.B. and Kara Douville of Calgary, visually impaired riders Carla Shibley (pilot Meghan Brown) of Calgary and Lowell Taylor (pilot Ed Veal) of Lethbridge, Alta., and tricyclist Louis-Albert Corriveau-Jolin of Sainte-Claire, Que.
''These road world championships will serve as great validation for those who will be attending the Games, but also allows a first world’s participation for a group of development athletes,’’ said Sébastien Travers, Para head coach for Cycling Canada. ‘’We look forward to racing our bikes again and are aiming to do so as safely as we possibly can.”
Molnar is excited with her progress in training and hopes that can show at the worlds.
‘’I’ve made some nice gains and it’ll be interesting to update my results record,” she said. ‘’With less than 100 days from the Games I want to see where I stand internationally.’’
Competition starts Wednesday with the team relay, on Thursday and Friday it’s the time trials, and the road races are on Saturday and Sunday.
With files from Sportcom and Cycling Canada