Svein Tuft to lead Canada at 2013 road cycling worlds

Svein Tuft, Christian Meier and Francois Parisien will represent Canada in the elite men's events at the upcoming 2013 road world championships.

Ryder Hesjedal declines selection

Svein Tuft will represent Canada at the upcoming road world cycling championships competing in the individual time trial. He won silver in the event in 2008. (Pascal Guyot/AFP/Getty Images)

Svein Tuft, Christian Meier and Francois Parisien will represent Canada in the elite men's events at the upcoming 2013 road world championships.

Tuft, from Langley, B.C., will compete in the individual time trial. He won silver in the event in 2008.

Meier, also from Langley, and Parisien, from Bromont, Que., will compete in the men's road race.

Canada had three spots for the race but will only send two riders. Victoria's Ryder Hesjedal, who finished third in the Grand Prix cycliste de Montreal last Sunday, declined his selection.

It was deemed that there were no other athletes available who would be competitive in the event, Cycling Canada said Wednesday in a release.

"This event is an opportunity to showcase competitiveness and performance in favour of development," said high-performance director Jacques Landry. "We have to field a competitive team for this prestigious and high-calibre event.

"In the elite category for road cycling, Canada will no longer use world championships as a development tool as many other races serve that purpose."

A Cycling Canada spokesman said Hesjedal's decision was not a surprise since the event is not traditionally on his season calendar.

The championship begins Sunday in Florence, Italy.

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