Mon, September 23, 2013

Canadian cyclists off to London

By QMI Agency


Five-time Olympian Clara Hughes (pictured) highlights a list of Canadian road cyclists chosen to compete at the London Olympics. (REUTERS)

Giro d'Italia champ Ryder Hesjedal and five-time Olympian Clara Hughes highlight the Canadian road cycling team going to the 2012 London Games.

Hesjedal, Hughes, Joelle Numainville and Denise Ramsden make up the Canadian quartet of riders going to London, Cycling Canada announced Thursday. Canada qualified one athlete in the men's road race and three in the women's.

"I am honored and excited to represent Canada in the Olympic Games," Hesjedal said. "It is my hope that the sport of cycling continues to grow in Canada and that the spirit of the Olympics shines an even greater spotlight on it. I am extremely proud to represent Canada."

Hesjedal won the Giro d'Italia earlier this month, becoming the first Canadian to finish first in a Grand Tour race. He will ride in the Tour de France before heading to London for the Olympic time trial and road race.

Hughes, one of Canada's most-celebrated Olympians, has won six medals in her previous five appearances -- two bronze in cycling and four others, including a gold, in speed skating. If Hughes can medal in the road race or time trial, she will become Canada's most decorated Olympian.

Numainville and Ramsden will be making their Olympic debuts.