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Canada names Olympic long team for women

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Clara Hughes (Specialized-Lululemon) kept riding steady tempo in the break.

Clara Hughes (Specialized-Lululemon) kept riding steady tempo in the break. (Image credit: Jonathan Devich)
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Tara Whitten (Canada) in action in the omnium.

Tara Whitten (Canada) in action in the omnium. (Image credit: Luis Barbosa)
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Leah Kirchmann (Team Canada)

Leah Kirchmann (Team Canada) (Image credit: Bert Geerts/
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Julie Beveridge (Equipe Vienne Futuroscope)

Julie Beveridge (Equipe Vienne Futuroscope) (Image credit: Tour of Japan)

Cycling Canada named its 2012 Olympic Selection Pool for the women's road team, listing nine riders who stand a chance to fill the country's three spots for the London Games.

Canada qualified three places for the road race and two for the time trial, but riders who compete in the individual test must take part in the mass start event as well.

Clara Hughes (Specialized-lululemon), Tara Whitten and Veronique Fortin (Tibco), Julie Beveridge and Karol-Ann Canuel (Vienne-Futurescope), Leah Kirchmann, Joelle Numainville and Denis Ramsden (Optum Pro Cycling) and Rhae Shaw (Exergy-Twenty12) make up the long team for Canada.

If chosen, London will be the sixth Olympic Games for Hughes, who competed first in Atlanta in 1996, winning bronze in both the time trial and road race, and then again in 2000. She also participated in the Winter Olympic Games in speed skating in 2002, 2006 and 2010 and won gold in 2006.

Whitten, a former omnium world champion, is already slated to compete on the track.

The High Performance advisory committee will nominate athletes for the Games, and make the decision public on June 21.

"This is an incredibly exciting time for cycling in Canada. The air is supercharged going into the Olympics and with that we will have a team adding to the atmosphere," said Denise Kelly, coach of the women's program at Cycling Canada Cyclisme. "This is a very talented pool of athletes to choose from with the goal of reaching the podium. I feel very honoured to be the coach of the women's team."