Team Canada Named for White Spot | Delta Road Race
International Experience and Podium Finishes Highlight Canadian National Team Roster
Many athletes grow up dreaming about donning their country’s colours on their jersey and waving their country’s flag as they finish in first place, and as part of BC Superweek, the members of Team Canada look to fulfill those dreams.
Canada’s roster for the White Spot | Delta Road Race, a UCI 1.2 race, on July 7th includes five riders who have collectively competed in the Olympic Games, UCI World Championships, Giro d’Italia, Vuelta d’Espana and the Tour de Suisse in addition to countless National Championships and local events like BC Superweek. In addition, all five are members of the Cycling Canada National Road or Track Team at the Tier 1, 2 or 3 level.
Champion System’s Zach Bell is the 2013 Canadian Elite Men’s National Road Race champion and also represented Canada at the 2008 and 2012 Summer Olympics, finishing seventh in Beijing in the men’s points race and 12th in the men’s madison. He was eighth in the men’s omnium in London last summer.
Bell is ecstatic about coming back to the Lower Mainland, a region where he’s had a lot of success over the years, including at the Tour de Delta, Tour de White Rock and the now defunct Six Days of Burnaby event. The 30-year-old already has four victories in 2013.
“BC Superweek was the first set of races where I was able to show some signs of ability on the bike. Later in my career, it’s where I learned the skills to start winning races at a high level. This year I’m excited to make a return where the calibre of riders should be the highest it’s ever been.” Bell exclaimed. “To wear the maple leaf in a set of races that has formed such a foundation for my career is an amazing honour.”
Meanwhile, Sussex, New Brunswick’s Christian Meier, who was recently announced as one of four ambassadors for this year’s BC Superweek, was part of the National Team just two weeks ago at the Tour de Beauce where it ended up with a stage win and third overall finish.
“I am very excited to be able to race the Tour of Delta this year as part of the national team. We had a good showing at the Tour de Beauce a couple weeks back and with the team we have racing at the Tour de Delta I think we are on track for another successful race,” said Meier. “We have a diverse roster which should be able to tackle most all situations during the race.”
Meier is a member of the ORICA-GreenEDGE team out of Australia. The 28-year-old finished first in both the Sprints classification and Special sprints classification at the 2013 Volta a Catalunya in March and has raced in the Giro d’Italia this year and last. He was also first in the road race at the 2012 Tour de White Rock.
Accent Jobs Wanty pro Will Routley is in the midst of a third season racing professionally in Europe and he can’t wait to get back to the West Coast to compete in BC Superweek – especially with the changes to the Tour de Delta.
“To see the Tour of Delta grow into a UCI race this year is very exciting,” Routley proclaimed. “I’m really happy to be able to take part in the inaugural edition as a part of Team Canada, and look forward to seeing the maple leaf on the podium.”
Routley, who turned 30 on May 23, had an impressive fifth place showing at the Canadian Nationals Road Race last month and has been outstanding in the past at BC Superweek. The Whistler product won the first stage of the 2008 and 2011 Tour de White Rock as well as the first stage of the 2009 Tour de Delta.
26-year-old Nic Hamilton was also part of Team Canada’s third place finish two weeks ago at the Tour de Beauce. The Calgarian is part of Team Canada’s Tier 3 National Road Team and the only Canadian member of his Jelly Belly p/b Kenda pro team. He’s spent much of his three year professional career racing in China, Japan, Taiwan and Korea.
Courtenay’s Nigel Ellsay is a member of the Canadian Tier 2 National Road Team and was named to the U23 Canadian team for the spring portion of the 2013 program. The 19-year-old, who trains in Rennes, France, returned home last year to compete in both the UBC Grand Prix and the Global Relay Gastown Grand Prix, finishing 37th out of the 120 starters. His best result thus far in his bright career is winning the Time Trial last August at the Ronde des Vallées in Hémonstoir, France.
The other national team taking part in the White Spot | Delta UCI 1.2 Road Race is Team Germany which features Tim Gebauer, Michael Schweizer, Joachim Tolles, Dennis Klemme and Hendrik Werner.