Hesjedal not on Commonwealth cycling team
Tour de France competitor Michael Barry and double world champion Tara Whitten topped the list of cyclists named Thursday to Canada's roster for the upcoming Commonwealth Games.
Barry, who was in 99th place through 17 stages of this year's Tour, finished ninth in the road race at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. The Toronto native also represented Canada at the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester, England.
Whitten won both the women's points race and the omnium at the track cycling world championships in March. The Edmontonian will compete in a team-high six events at the 2010 Commonwealth Games, which begin Oct. 3 in Delhi, India.
Conspicuously absent from the Canadian team roster was Ryder Hesjedal. The Victoria native, who jumped to eighth place in the Tour de France with a strong 17th stage on Thursday, declined the Canadian Cycling Association's invitation to compete due to personal reasons.
"The Canadian Cycling Association fully respects his decision and the CCA looks forward to working with Ryder in our preparations for the 2012 Olympic Games in London," CCA spokesman Guy Napert-Frenette told CBCSports.ca in a email.
Other members of the men's team for the Commonwealth Games include veteran Svein Tuft of Langley, B.C., another 2008 Olympian who recently won his sixth Canadian title in the time trial race. Tuft claimed the silver medal in that discipline at the 2008 world championships.
2008 Olympian Zach Bell of Watson Lake, Yukon, and 2010 Pan American sprint champion Travis Smith of Calgary also made the roster.
"The Canadian cycling team for Delhi intends to contend for medals," said Martha Deacon, the chef de mission for Canada's Commonwealth Games team. "With one gold, one silver and three bronze medals won in Melbourne in 2006, the cyclists will be highly competitive in Delhi and we are proud to support the already accomplished team members as the cycling team looks to surpass previous goals."
The Commonwealth Games program includes 14 track cycling events (eight men's and six women's), along with two road events (the road race and individual time trial) for both men and women.
The Commonwealth Games will feature more than 4,000 athletes from 71 Commonwealth nations and territories, competing in 19 sports. Canada, which finished third overall at the 2006 Games in Melbourne, will send a team of about 400 athletes, coaches, and volunteers.
The full Canadian roster:
- Michael Barry (Toronto): road race.
- Svein Tuft (Langley, B.C.): road race, time trial.
- Ryan Roth (Cambridge, Ont.): road race, time trial.
- Will Routley (Whistler, B.C.): road race.
- Zach Bell (Watson Lake, Yukon): points race, scratch race, road race, time trial.
- Travis Smith (Calgary): 1k time trial, sprint, keirin.
- Erinne Willock (Victoria): road race.
- Joelle Numainville (Montreal): road race, time trial.
- Tara Whitten (Edmonton): individual pursuit, points race, scratch race, team sprint, road race, time trial.
- Alison Testroete (Abbotsford, B.C.): road race.
- Julie Beveridge (Calgary): road race, time trial.
- Monique Sullivan (Calgary): 500-metre time trial, sprint, team sprint.
- Leah Kirchmann (Winnipeg): road race.
With files from The Canadian Press