Three-member Canadian squad set to race at 2022 Para Cycling Track World Championships

Canadian Paralympic Committee

October 19, 2022

Paralympian Kate O’Brien joined by newcomers Alexandre Hayward and Mel Pemble in France


OTTAWA – Alexandre Hayward took his first pedals on a track cycling floor last month at the velodrome in Milton, Ont. After the week-long camp, he hadn’t been on one again until the team travelled to France last week to prepare for the 2022 Para Cycling Track World Championships, starting Thursday.

The worlds are set for October 20-23 at the new velodrome built in St-Quentin-en-Yvelines for the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games, hosted by nearby Paris.

“In September, I went to Milton with the idea of being introduced to track cycling,” said Hayward, from Quispamsis, N.B. ‘’I was quite intimidated by the whole thing. Five days later I hit the standard for the pursuit for the world championships.”

Fast learning is nothing new for Hayward. This season on the road he won double gold in the C2 class at the national championships, a stunning gold in the time trial in his World Cup debut in August, and posted two sixth-place finishes at the road worlds held in Baie-Comeau, Que. a week later.

As was the case in Baie-Comeau, some of Hayward’s competitors will have 10 to 15 years of experience on him in France.

‘’I know it’s a big first step for me and I’m both excited and intimidated at the same time,” said the 25-year-old chemical engineering student.

Hayward is joined on Canada’s team by fellow newcomer Mel Pemble of Victoria and defending 500m world champion Kate O’Brien of Calgary.

Pemble is a former Para alpine skier who competed at the 2018 Paralympic Games in PyeongChang. She made the switch to cycling in 2020, and is headed to her first cycling world championships, in either road or track, this week.

The lone Canadian C3 woman, Pemble has a busy schedule in France. She is set to do the flying 200m, 500m time trial, 3000m individual pursuit, scratch race, omnium and sprint team race.

‘’The focus this year has been the track for me,’’ said the British-born Pemble who moved to Canada with her parents at age nine. “I had a chance to go to the road worlds but I felt my fitness wasn’t there yet, so I decided to put in more velodrome time.”

While Hayward and Pemble are looking to gain valuable international experience, O’Brien looks to regain the number-one spot in her prime event after winning the silver medal in the 500m time trial at the Tokyo Paralympic Games last summer. She had claimed gold in the event, in world record time, at the 2020 world championships just before the start of the pandemic.

Competition will commence Thursday with flying start 200m races. The French Cycling Federation estimates the track worlds will attract 230 athletes from 39 countries, competing in 61 events.

To follow results from the 2022 Para Cycling Track World Championships, visit

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