Canada's Olympic-medal winning women's endurance squad will be at the third round of the TISSOT UCI Track Cycling World Cup set to take place at the Mattamy Cycling Centre in Milton, Ontario, from December 1-3.
The focus will be on the team pursuit, where Canada has won bronze medals in the past two Olympics. The squad will be anchored by Olympian Allison Beveridge, who will also race the Omnium. Jasmin Duehring, who won a silver medal in the Points Race at the last World Championships, will compete in that event at Milton, as well as the Madison with teammate Steph Roorda.
"This is an exciting time for our program," said Craig Griffin, Women's Track Endurance Coach. "We are fortunate enough to have seven athletes getting ready for the World Championships and Commonwealth Games, so in the process we have seven athletes who can ride the four events at the World Cup here in Milton. We will have six athletes ready to ride in the Team Pursuit, and hopefully have the opportunity to have them ride in the different rounds of the competition, in different combinations."
The Milton World Cup marks a return to the top level for Beveridge, who was off the bike for five months after surgery in January to correct a lingering injury she suffered in the 2016 Hong Kong World Cup. She missed the world championships in April but was back on form in October for Canadian nationals,where she took three titles.
"It was a significant process that had a lot of ups and downs along the way. A couple of people told me I wasn't going to be able to come back and race again," Beveridge told the Canadian Broadcasting Company for an article published this week.
Other riders on the team include Amelia Walsh, who will compete in all three sprint events - Sprint, Keirin and Team Sprint; she will be joined by newcomer Tegan Cochrane for the latter competition.
"Milton will be my first World Cup racing all the Sprint events and I couldn't be more excited for it to be on home soil," said Walsh. "It is still quite early on in my track cycling career and have lots to learn, but I hope to represent Canada to the best of my ability next weekend, battling it out with the best in the World.
"We will have Jasmin in the Points Race, and hopefully she can bring another good performance to the table. The Madison is going to be exciting; it is the first Madison we are going to ride on home soil, and we are looking at Jasmin and Steph for that event; it's a new combination, but we are confident it will produce good results. Finally, we will have Allison ride the Omnium; she's had a pretty good run in the Omnium over the past year, although it's been a while since she has done one at the international level, so we are looking forward to seeing how she rides in that race."
Allison Beveridge - Calgary, AB [Team Pursuit, Omnium]
Ariane Bonhomme - Gatineau, QC [Team Pursuit]
Jasmin Duehring - Vancouver, BC [Points Race, Madison]
Annie Foreman-Mackey - Kingston, ON [Team Pursuit]
Kinley Gibson - Edmonton, AB [Team Pursuit]
Kirsti Lay - Calgary, AB [Team Pursuit]
Steph Roorda - Vancouver, BC [Team Pursuit, Madison]
Amelia Walsh - Ayr, ON [Team Sprint, Sprint, Keirin]
Tegan Cochrane - Kelowna, BC [Team Sprint]
Anna Sanchis announces retirement
Spanish rider Anna Sanchis has announced her retirement from professional cycling. The 30-year-old gave birth to her first child this year, explaining she now wants to focus on her family.
Sanchis signed with Wiggle-High5 from 2014 season after previous stints with Bizkaia-Durango and Safi-Pasta Zara-Titanedi. During her career, Sanchis won two Spanish road race titles and four national time trial crowns. Her last race as a professional was the 2016 Madrid Challenge by La Vuelta.
"I write these lines with enthusiasm, nervousness and some sorrow at the same time… After eleven years in professional cycling and 25 years since I started cycling school, it's time to say goodbye to the competition," Sanchis said in a release from Wiggle-High5. "I've lived really different last season because of my pregnancy, and although I thought after having my baby I could return to the competition, now I just want to be with my family and I don't feel ready and motivated for another season as a professional cyclist."
Paying tribute to all those who helped her through her career, Sanchis added that while hanging up her professional wheels, cycling will continue to hold an important place in her life.
"I say goodbye to the competition with the feeling of having given everything at every moment, happy with my sports career and very happy," she said, "Now I start a new stage in which I hope to continue close to cycling and I hope to be able to convey to the youngest the same passion for this sport that someone transmitted to me long time ago."
From the 2017 Wiggle-High5 team, Emma Johansson, Giorgia Bronzini, Claudia Lichtenberg, Jolien D'hoore, Mayuko Hagiwara and Amy Roberts also won't be present in the 2018 roster.
TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank squad for Women's Tour Down Under
American women's team TIBCO Silicon Valley Bank has announced its six-rider line up for January's Santos Women's Tour Down Under. The team will be led by new signing Shannon Malseed with Kendall Ryan and Kathryn Buss representing America. British duo Emma Grant and Alice Cobb, and Canadian Alison Jackson, all new signings from 2018, round out the squad for the 11-14 January race around Adelaide, South Australia
"It's been 10 years since I was last in Adelaide at the Tour Down Under and I am thrilled to be coming back, this time with Team TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank," team manager Ed Beamon said.
"I've been following the growth of the Santos Tour Down Under and South Australia’s investment in the women's peloton the last few years and it is so exciting to have a full four-day stage race as an integral part of the 2018 event."
The race has been upgraded to 2.1 status in 2018 and the riders can also expect a tough parcours compared to previous editions. For Beamon, he is under no illusion regarding the quality of the event and expects his riders to be in top shape to challenge for results across the four stages.
"Having a rising Australian talent in Shannon Malseed on the team, we are acutely aware of how important this race is, especially to the Australian riders, and we will be prepared to expect a very strong and fit southern hemisphere contingent to animate the race," he added. "We also realize that many Classics-oriented riders will come well-tuned for the spring campaign so we need to be prepared for some very fast and aggressive racing."
Beggin, Bertizzolo and Vieceli extend with Astana Women's Team
Astana Women's Team has announced contract extensions with three riders that make up its Italian core. Sofia Beggin and Sofia Bertizzolo both extend into a third year, while Lara Vieceli has been confirmed for a second season with the team. The announcement takes the Astana roster for 2018 to nine riders.
At 24, Vieceli is the eldest of the trio and despite an injury-plagued season, including a broken collarbone, she had done enough across the year to secure a second contract. The 20-year-old duo of Beggin and Bertizzolo both represent the future for the Astana team with the team looking to further develop their talents from 2018.
The trio joins Cuban Arlenis Sierra in extending with Astana for another season. The team also welcomes onboard Letizia Paternoster, Blanca Liliana Moreno, Elena Pirrone, Jeidi Pradera and Martina Alzini as new riders for the upcoming season.