Local Riders to Compete at World Championships

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Peter McCaffrey (MIVA)

January 21, 2013, Nanaimo, BC, (ISN) – Four Nanaimo Bike Racers Will Race for Rainbow Jerseys in Louisville.

Normon Thibault (Frontrunners), Derek Steel (MIVAArrowsmith Bikes), Janna Gillick (Mid Island Velo Association) and Wendy Simms (Kona) are travelling to Louisville, Kentucky to race in the Elite and Masters World Cyclocross Championships that take place from January 30th to February 3rd 2013.

Although the 2012 Masters race took place in Louisville, 2013 will be the first time that the Elite race will be contested outside of Europe. Winners will be awarded agreen, yellow, black, red and blue striped jersey signifying that they are the 2013 World Cyclocross champion for their respective category. They are then entitled to wear the prestigious rainbow jersey forthe year following their win.

First to race will be Thibault who will be one of nearly one hundred men in the 45 to 49 category.  Thibault, who was third at the National Championships in Surrey, will need to be fast in the short 3-lap heat taking place Wednesday morning in order to advance to the Friday afternoon final.

Steel, who took up cycling in his fifties, will be one of seven men vying for the win in the 70-74 category on Thursday morning. This race is particularly exciting for Steel since he usually has to race against athletes much younger than him in the 50 and older category. Louisville will be Steel’s first opportunity to race against only his peers. He has put in an extraordinary amount of training and stands a good chance of finding himself a spot on the podium.

On Friday morning, Gillick will race in the Women’s 35 to 39 category in her one-of-a-kind skinsuit decorated with maple leaves reflecting her status as current Masters Women National Champion.  Competition will be fierce as Gillick will race against twenty-five other women, including former professional cyclist Lyne Bessette.

Simms, a mother of two active pre-school aged children, was nominated to the Canadian team after a second place finish at the National Championships in Surrey. She will compete in the Elite Women’s race on Sunday morning. Simms has five national titles and finished 18th in her last appearance at the World Cyclocross Championships in 2009.

Links to live online race coverage and periodic updates from the Nanaimo athletes will be available on the Mid Island Velo Association website at http://www.bikeracing.ca.

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