Canada announces squad for Innsbruck world championships

Woods, Kirchmann and Poidevin lead elite road teams

Mike Woods – who won Wednesday's Vuelta a Espana stage – will lead Canada at the world championship road race at the end of this month.

Woods, who rides for EF Education First-Drapac, heads a four-man Canadian squad for the event on September 30, which also includes Rally Cycling's Rob Britton, current road race national champion Antoine Duchesne (Groupama-FDJ) and Astana's Hugo Houle.

The elite women's road race squad, which competes on September 29, is made up of six riders and is headed up by 2018 time trial national champion Leah Kirchmann (Sunweb) and 2017 Colorado Classic winner Sara Poidevin (Rally Cycling), with Team Tibco-SVB's Alison Jackson, 2017 time trial national champion Karol-Ann Canuel (Boels Dolmans), road race national champion Katherine Maine, and her and Poidevin's Rally teammate Sara Bergen.

Canuel and Kirchmann will also represent Canada in the individual time trial on September 23, while Britton and Houle will do the same in the men's time trial later that day.

"At the road Worlds, a lot of attention shifts to our elite categories," said Team Canada manager Kevin Field in a press release. "We enter both the men's and women's races with strong wildcard chances. Sara Poidevin has demonstrated she's got the potential to be one of the best climbers in the world of women's cycling. She'll come in underrated, and I like that.

"Leah Kirchmann and Karol-Ann Canuel have consistently demonstrated top performances in the Women's WorldTour, and Alison Jackson has had a breakthrough season. I'm really excited to see what our women can do. We have a strong, motivated and committed team that will once again be led by sports director Zach Bell.

"On the men's side, Mike Woods has proven the ability to be among the best in tough one-day races like Liège-Bastogne-Liège and on climbing stages at both the Giro and Vuelta," said Field. "Mike will get strong support from his teammates; everyone is pretty excited about our chances and committed to riding as a galvanised team."

There's no place on the squad for current time trial national champion Svein Tuft (Mitchelton-Scott). The 41-year-old is set to retire at the end of this season, but is the last elite-level medallist for Canada, men or women, in the road race or individual time trial, having won silver in the time trial at the 2008 Worlds in Varese, Italy, behind Germany's Bert Grabsch.

Kirchmann, however, was part of last year's victorious Sunweb team time trial squad in Norway, although she was representing her sponsor rather than Canada.

In the women's individual time trial, you have to look right back to Anne Samplonius and Clara Hughes, who both took silver medals for Canada in the first two years that an individual time trial world championship was held, in 1994 and 1995, respectively.

In the road race, Alison Sydor took bronze for Canada in 1991 in Stuttgart, Germany, while you have to go all the way back to 1984 for the last men's road race medal, when Steve Bauer took bronze in Barcelona, Spain, in the year that Belgium's Claude Criquielion became world champion.

Team Canada for the 2018 UCI Road World Championships:

Elite men's road race
Rob Britton
Antoine Duchesne
Hugo Houle
Mike Woods

Elite men's time trial
Rob Britton
Hugo Houle

Elite women's road race
Sara Bergen
Karol-Ann Canuel
Alison Jackson
Leah Kirchmann
Katherine Maine
Sara Poidevin

Elite women's time trial
Karol-Ann Canuel
Leah Kirchmann

Under-23 men's road race
Charles-Etienne Chretien
Adam Roberge
Ed Walsh
Nickolas Zukowsky

Under-23 men's time trial
Adam Roberge
Nickolas Zukowsky

Junior women's road race
Simone Boilard
Elizabeth Gin
Kaitlyn Rauwerda
Magdeleine Vallieres-Mill

Junior women's time trial
Simone Boilard
Magdeleine Vallieres-Mill

Junior men's road race
Ben Katerberg
Connor Martin
Carson Miles
Robin Plamondon
Thomas Schellenberg

Junior men's time trial
Ben Katerberg
Connor Martin

 

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