Athletes have been training their entire lives for a chance to qualify for the Olympic Games. On July 23, this dream will become reality for 23 Canadian cyclists who will be representing the maple leaf in Tokyo.
To get to this moment was no easy feat. It took thousands of hours, hard work, frustration, celebration and support to make it this far. While fans will get to see athletes perform on the world stage, what they won’t see is the team of Cycling Canada staff working behind the scenes to assist and support the athletes and make the experience as seamless as possible. From mechanics to coaches, physiotherapists and team doctors, a total of 27 staff members will be on site to assist our cycling team during 14 days of competition across 4 different venues and cities.
Here is a bit more information on each discipline, where to watch, and who will be part of the support team.
Both James Palmer and Drew Mechielsen are set to make their Olympic debut in Tokyo. Palmer has been racing on the world stage since he was 14 years old and is no stranger to high pressure situations, most notably competing at the Pan American Games in Lima, Peru alongside Mechielsen.
Mechielsen, who has been racing since she was three years old, will be the second Canadian woman to ever represent Canada in the discipline.
The duo will be supported by:
Adam Muys — BMX Head Coach
Jenn Turner — Chiropractor
Both Palmer and Mechielsen will have their Olympic Games berths on July 29-30 at the Ariake Urban Sports Park in Tokyo.
Representing Canada is Olympic veteran and Rio 2016 bronze medallist Catharine Pendrel who will be racing in her fourth Games. She will be joined by Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Haley Smith, and Canadian champion Peter Disera.
All three athletes are coming off the world cup circuit with plenty of racing under their belt and ready to perform at the Izu Mountain Bike Course on July 26-27.
The trio will be supported by:
Dan Proulx — MTB Head Coach
Tara Lazarski — Mountain Bike Therapy Lead
Adam Trotter — Mechanic
Set to be the longest race in the Olympics, Canadians will bring a wealth of experience with Leah Kirchmann, Karol-Ann Canuel, Mike Woods and Hugo Houle all competing at their second Games. They will be joined by Woods’ Israel Start-Up Nation teammate, Guillaume Boivin, who has been racing on the professional circuit for close to a decade.
The men’s squad will be the first to race on July 24th, only four days after finishing the Tour de France, where they will complete a distance of 234 kilometres with 4,865 metres of elevation around Mount Fuji. Kirchmann and Canuel will tackle the 137-kilometre women’s road race the following day, making their way from Musashinonomori Park to the Fuji International Speedway. The Fuji International Speedway will also play host to the Individual Time Trials for both men and women on July 28th.
Over the course of three days, their support team will include:
Shawn Clarke — Road Manager
Steve Bauer — Road DS
Jon Adams — Road Therapist
Goretti Font Mas — Road Therapist
Luc Mahler — Road Chiropractor
Andreas Beck Watt — Road Mechanic
Zane Freebairn — Road Mechanic
The women’s track endurance team is aiming for a third consecutive podium in the women’s team pursuit with four-time dual Olympian Georgia Simmerling, double Olympic medallist Jasmin Duehring and Rio 2016 Olympian Allison Beveridge leading the way. The Rio 2016 bronze medallists will be joined by first-time Olympians, Annie Foreman-Mackey and Ariane Bonhomme.
The men’s track endurance squad will be comprised of two-time winter Olympian Vincent de Haitre, Jay Lamoureux, Michael Foley and Derek Gee. All four men will be racing in the Team Pursuit, while Foley and Gee will also team up in the Madison.
The sprinters are also coming into the Games in peak form, with Hugo Barrette, Nick Wammes and RBC Training Ground recruits Kelsey Mitchell and Lauriane Genest all competing in the Sprint and Keirin events. Racing will kick off at the Izu Velodrome on August 2 until August 8th.
The track team is the largest to be nominated in Canadian history and will be supported by:
Brendon Cameron — Track Head Coach
Matt Shallcrass — Women’s Team Endurance Coach
Jono Hailstone — Men’s Track Endurance Coach
Franck Durivaux — Track Sprint Coach
Dan Peters — Track Mechanic
Ryan Finch — Track Mechanic
Remo Bucci — Track Therapist
Osvaldo Medinas — Track Therapist
Stephen McMullan — Track S&C/Analyst
Emily Wood — Track Physiologist
The cycling team also includes crucial Cycling Canada staff members who have been working behind the scenes for years to organize travel, accommodation, media, visas, COVID tests and much more. This team includes:
Kris Westwood — Team Leader
Jennifer Mahoney — Olympic Village Manager
Jessika Grand Bois — Izu Satellite Village Manager
Karine Bedard — Media Attaché
With cycling races taking place every day, here is when to watch:
|July 26-27||Mountain Bike|
|July 29-30||BMX Racing|
All races can be streamed on CBC Sports.