Canada places two tandems on podium as Geneviève Ouellet and Emilie Roy wins bronze in same race
(Baie-Comeau, QC – August 22, 2010) On the last day of action at the 2010 UCI Para-Cycling World Championships, Canada’s tandem cyclists rolled to two more medals in Baie-Comeau, QC, including a World Championships title for the newly formed tandem of Robbi Weldon and Lyne Bessette in the women’s tandem road race in Baie-Comeau, QC.
In addition to the World title in the Women’s tandem race, Canada’s Geneviève Ouellet (Québec, QC) and pilot Emilie Roy (Québec, QC) fought to the very end to cross the finish line in third place.
“(World Champion) sounds very good. It’s actually quite hard to imagine, we worked really hard today, and it’s great to be here in Baie-Comeau, here in Canada, and win the World Championship title,” said Weldon just after the race.
“The last 300m just gave me goose bumps. There were so many people out today, and it was so awesome the last couple of laps, absorbing all that energy from the crowd and transferring it to my legs it up the big hills,” added Weldon, when asked about the support of the crowds upwards of 1500 people cheering throughout the course.
“(The close gap in the Time Trial) did play a big role into today’s race. I gave it all I could in the Time Trial (on Friday), and it was really exciting to be that close. I learned a lot during the time trial, and today I applied those learning in the road race.” continued Weldon, silver medalist in the Individual Time Trial on Friday.
Robbi Weldon, an accomplished athlete herself in Para-nordic skiing, was piloted by Olympian Lyne Bessette, who boasts an impressive cycling resume from her previous elite cycling career.
“As an athlete you always want to be World Champion. Some will say many things, but I lived great moments this week. This week is a turning point in my life where I realized a lot of things in general. These guys are exceptional,” said Bessette after the race.
“I was not stressed at all, and I was often nervous during my career. I saw a sports psychologist in training camp in Bromont. This is the first time I saw one, and I wish I had seen one of them before, this guy. What he said made all the difference, and he did not say much,” explained the emotional Lyne Bessette.
In the same Women’s tandem race, the experienced duo of Geneviève Ouellet and Emilie Roy sprinted to the bronze medal in the last few hundred meters to ride towards their second bronze medal of the 2010 Championships.
“We wanted a podium at every race, but we did not know if it was really realistic. I am super happy to have achieved this feat. The two tandems gathered together before the race to ensure maximum ranking for Canada. We realized that we could escape into the big hill, and did in the last few laps. The tandems were very close together, “said Genevieve Ouellet, double bronze medalist at these championships.
In the Men’s tandem race, the duo of Stephane Côté (Québec, QC) and Pierre-Olivier Boily (Sherbrooke, QC) placed in fifth position, just short of the podium.
“The specialty for us is the road race. When we arrive to a road race, regardless of where it is, we want to do well. It was the first goal. Our preparations were optimal; we were very confident of our ability to do well, and everything depended on others. As we showed up to the start line, our job was done,” said Côté moments after his race.
In winning these two medals, Canada surpassed the highest number of podium ever won at World Championships. In total, Canada grabbed 7 medals, finishing 11th in the medal standings.
According to the police authorities, the men’s tandem reached top speeds of 108 km/h on the descent of the famous Côte Saint-Georges, where maximum speeds are posted at 70 km/h.
On a chilly morning in Québec’s Northern Coast, far from Ecuador-like heat, Canada’s Marc Breton (Charlesbourg, QC) finished 17th in the C5 category with a time of 2h 06m 41s, trailing the winner by 1m 53s.
Shelley Gauthier (Toronto, ON) rolled solo in the T1 category, posting a time of 1h 15m 42s.
Eric Bourgault (Orford, QC) did not have a chance to prove his abilities against the rest of the world at this international event. His wife gave birth earlier this week to their first child.
MEDAL TALLY – CANADIAN PARA-CYCLISTS
Robert Labbé (Québec, QC) – Bronze – Men’s H1 –Time Trial
Robbi Weldon (Thunder Bay, ON) / Lyne Bessette (Knowlton, QC) – Silver – Women’s B – Time Trial
Genevière Ouellet / Emilie Roy (Québec, QC) – Bronze – Women’s B – Time Trial
Marie-Claude Molnar (Sainte-Adèle, QC) – Bronze – Women’s C4 – Road Race
Mark Ledo (Maple, ON) – Bronze – Men’s H3 – Road Race
Robbi Weldon (Thunder Bay, ON) / Lyne Bessette (Knowlton, QC) – GOLD – Women’s B – Road Race
Geneviève Ouellet/Emilie Roy (Québec, QC) – Bronze – Women’s B – Road Race
Full results of the World Championships can be found at: http://www.uci.ch/templates/UCI/UCI1/layout.asp?MenuId=MTU5NDc&LangId=1