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Woods, Canuel to lead Canadian men's and women's teams at Rio Olympics

Cycling Canada announced the 19 riders selected to compete at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro this August. Leading the men's and women's road teams are Cannondale Pro Cycling’s Michael Woods and Boels-Dolmans' Karol-Ann Canuel, respectively.

Woods, who was sidelined from racing in the Giro d’Italia this spring due to a broken hand, had targeted the Olympic Games for 2016. He will be joined by Antoine Duschene (Direct Energie) and Hugo Houle (AG2R La Mondiale), who will also compete in the time trial. Noticably absent from the selection is Ryder Hesjedal (Trek-Segafredo) and Svein Tuft (Orica-BikeExchange).

In the women’s road race, Canuel will lead the team on the hilly course with support from sprinter Leah Kirchmann (Team Liv-Plantur) and Tara Whitten (The Cyclery-Opus), who came back from a serious head injury to win the national time trial title. Although it was not confirmed in the press release, it is likely that Whitten and Canuel will also compete in the time trial.

As expected, Canada’s two top mountain bikers Catherine Pendrel and Emily Batty will compete in the women’s mountain bike category, while Léandre Bouchard and Raphaël Gagné will compete in men’s mountain bike event.

Canada’s women’s team pursuit squad, will look to do better than their bronze-medal performance at the 2012 London Olympics with Allison Beveridge, Laura Brown, Jasmin Glaesser, Georgia Simmerling and Kirsti Lay. The team took the silver medal at the track World Championships in London this year. While Kate O’Brien and Monique Sullivan will contest the sprint events.

Hugo Barrette is the sole male track rider heading to the Olympics for Canada, and Tory Nyhaug will compete in men's  BMX.

Road cycling will be held on August 6 and 7 at Fort Copacabana and August 10 in Pontal. Track cycling events will be held at the Rio Olympic Velodrome, August 11-15. The BMX competition will take place at the Olympic BMX Centre, August 17-19, followed by the mountain bike races August 20-21 at the Mountain Bike Centre.

Team Canada for the 2016 Olympic Games:

Men – road:
Mike Woods (Ottawa, ON) Road Cycling
Antoine Duchesne (Chicoutimi, QC) Road Cycling
Hugo Houle (Ste-Perpétue, QC) Road Cycling

Women – road:
Karol-Ann Canuel (Gatineau, QC) Road Cycling
Leah Kirchmann (Winnipeg, MB) Road Cycling
Tara Whitten (Calgary, AB) Road Cycling

Men – track:
Hugo Barrette (Îles de la Madeleine, QC) Track Cycling

Women – track:
Allison Beveridge (Calgary, AB) Track Cycling
Laura Brown (Vancouver, BC) Track Cycling
Jasmin Glaesser (Vancouver, BC) Track Cycling
Kirsti Lay (Montreal, QC) Track Cycling
Kate O’Brien (Calgary, AB) Track Cycling
Monique Sullivan (Calgary, AB) Track Cycling

Men – mountainbike:
Léandre Bouchard (Alma, QC) Mountain Bike
Raphaël Gagné (Québec City, QC) Mountain Bike

Women – mountain bike:
Emily Batty (Brooklin, ON) Mountain Bike
Catharine Pendrel (Kamloops, BC) Mountain Bike

Men – BMX:
Tory Nyhaug (Coquitlam, BC) BMX

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