OTTAWA - Tristen Chernove, Ross Wilson, Marie-Claude Molnar and Keely Shaw are Canada’s four entries for the Para cycling track world championships this Thursday to Sunday in Apeldoorn, Netherlands.
Chernove, Wilson and Molnar are all Paralympic Games and world championship medallists while Shaw is regarded as one of the top young talents in the sport.
The strong Canadian squad will be going up against some tough competition in the central Dutch town. Here are some of the top possible showdowns for the Canadians:
Tristen Chernove vs. Alejandro Perea (Colombia)
Chernove, of Cranbrook, B.C., made his first big impact at the 2016 Paralympic Games earning three medals – one of each colour – to highlight a nine-medal performance for the Para cycling squad in Rio. His success continued in 2017 as he swept gold in all his races at both the track and road world championships. In 2018, he earned yet another medal set at the track worlds to go along with a gold and silver in the road event.
Colombian Alejandro Perea, a double gold medallist at the 2016 Paralympic Games, also won two of the three C2 events at last year’s track worlds, which was also held in Rio. In the 1000m time trial, Chernove finished just seven-tenths of a second behind Perea for first place.
Ross Wilson vs. Zhangyu Li (China)
Wilson, of Edmonton, hasn’t slowed down since his triple medal performance at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio. In his first major event after the Games, he swept gold in all three events at the 2017 track world championships in Los Angeles. He has also collected medals at the 2017 and 2018 road worlds as well last year’s track world championships.
Zhangyu Li, last year’s double Asian Para Games champion, has tasted victory at every track worlds he has competed in and will be a heavy favourite in the C1 classification in Apeldoorn.
Marie-Claude Molnar vs. Shawn Morelli (USA)
Molnar, of Montreal, a two-time Paralympic Games team member for Canada and London 2012 bronze medallist, has earned a medal at both the last two track worlds. This includes a bronze last year in the scratch race, to go along with a fourth-place in the individual pursuit.
Paralympic Games champion Shawn Morelli has become the face of U.S. Para cycling thanks to outstanding performances at major events, including two C4 gold medals at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. She’ll look to extend her winning streak on Dutch soil.
Keely Shaw vs. Kate Horan (New Zealand)
Shaw, of Saskatoon, has fast progressed from Next Gen athlete to contender. She made her international debut for Canada one year ago at the 2018 track worlds in Rio and made a huge impression, placing fifth in the individual pursuit and 10th in the time trial. She’ll be hoping to best that performance this year.
Three-time Paralympian Kate Horan won a silver medal in the women’s C4 500m time trial at this event one year ago. According to Paralympics New Zealand, Horan will be looking to build on this result after spending the last 12 months working on her speed and technique.