Para-cycling team members (l to r) Mark Ledo, Audrey Lemieux, Robbi Weldon, Marie-Ève Croteau, Shelley Gautier, Marie-Claude Molnar, Charles Moreau
( OTTAWA, ONT.) — Cycling Canada is pleased to announce the 16 para-cyclists selected for nomination to represent Canada at the Toronto 2015 Parapan American Games.
Canadian riders at the Parapan American Games will be able to earn valuable points towards qualifying for the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio.
The team features Robbi Weldon of Thunder Bay, Ont., Shelley Gautier of Toronto, Marie-Ève Croteau of Quebec City, Marie-Claude Molnar of St-Hubert, Que., and Daniel Chalifour of Mont-Laurier, Que., who all competed at both the last Parapan American Games in Guadalajara in 2011 and the Paralympic Games in London in 2012.
Alexandre Cloutier of St-Antoine-de-Tilly, Que., Mark Ledo of Maple, Ont., and Robert Labbé of Quebec City were in London while Louis-Albert Jolin-Corriveau of Ste-Claire, Que., was in Guadalajara.
“The Parapanam Games is always a great opportunity to gauge where we are from an international competitiveness standpoint,” said Jacques Landry, Cycling Canada’s High Performance Director and Head Coach. ”It’s an even better opportunity do so in front of our home crowd. We hope that the processes we plan to use to win medals at the Parapanam Games will be successful and also bring success to Canadian para-cycling at the 2016 Paralympic Games.”
Weldon, a visually impaired racer, won four gold medals at the 2011 Parapan Ams and the road race crown in London, all with now retired pilot Lyne Bessette. The pilots on the para-cycling team for Toronto are Audrey Lemieux of Montreal, Joanie Caron of Rimouski, Que., and Cloutier.
“With 16 athletes this is one of our bigger teams at the Parapan Am Games,” said Chef de Mission Elisabeth Walker-Young. “It’s nice to see the return of several veterans and emergence of some newcomers as well.”
A couple of newcomers to watch for are Ross Wilson of Edmonton, Michael Sametz of Calgary, former triathlete Charles Moreau of Trois-Rivières, Que., and Nicole Clermont of Sherbrooke.
“The announcement of the Canadian Para-Cycling Team means we are one step closer to the Toronto 2015 Parapan Am Games. Congratulations to the athletes named to the team who will proudly wear the maple leaf as they compete in Toronto during the Year of Sport in Canada. We are very proud that the track cycling events will be hosted at the new Cisco Milton Pan Am/Parapan Am Velodrome, one of the three legacy facilities of the Games, which will provide a place for Canadian cyclists to train for years to come,” said the Honourable Bal Gosal, Minister of State (Sport)