(ISN) – (Ottawa, ON – July 9, 2014) Multiple Olympic and World Championships medallist Erin Hartwell will be leading Canada’s track sprint programs as head coach, Cycling Canada announced today.
Hartwell, who is from Indianapolis, Indiana, is starting his role at an exciting time for Canadian track cycling, with the Milton Velodrome at the Mattamy National Cycling Centre scheduled to open this fall and a new crop of sprinters waiting in the wings after a series of talent ID camps conducted across the country earlier this year.
But the first item on Hartwell’s agenda will be the Commonwealth Games, where speed skater Vincent De Haître will join Hugo Barrette and Joseph Veloce in the team sprint – the event that will be the cornerstone of the sprint program.
“The team sprint is very important to us because if we can qualify for the Olympic Games it automatically gives us starters in the sprint and keirin as well,” said Hartwell. “It’s also a great way to develop riders who can then go on to perform in the individual events.”
After the Games, the focus will switch to the Pan-American Championships in Aguascalientes, Mexico, in September. Cycling Canada hopes to debut its women’s team sprint program there, anchored by 2012 Olympian Monique Sullivan, who recently returned to competition after stepping away from cycling after the London Games.
“I’m delighted to welcome Erin on board as national sprint coach,” said Jacques Landry, Cycling Canada’s High Performance Director. “Erin brings a wealth of experience to his new job and we can expect to see rapid improvement from our riders in the coming seasons.”
Hartwell was one of the top American sprinters in the 1990s, winning a bronze medal in the sprint at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona and a silver medal in the kilometre time trial in1996 in Atlanta, as well as four UCI Track World Championship medals.
Since retiring from cycling, he became president and CEO of the Valley Preferred Cycling Center in Trexlertown, Pennsylvania, and then High Performance Director for the Trinidad and Tobago Cycling Federation. Hartwell will be based at the new velodrome in Milton alongside Canada’s track endurance coaches, Craig Griffin and Ian Melvin.