Heading out the door? Read this article on the new Outside+ app available now on iOS devices for members! Download the app.
By Jason Sumner, VeloNews Associate Editor
The names Ryder Hesjedal and Alison Sydor were surprisingly absent when the Canadian Cycling Association released its full Commonwealth Games roster on Thursday.
Sydor had initially been an automatic selection but opted out to focus solely on this year’s world championships.
“I think at the end of the day she decided that it would be too much travel,” said Canadian national team coach Yurri Kasharin. “I was a little surprised, though. Sometimes you think you know an athlete, but it turns out you don’t.” With Sydor out, that roster spot fell to Marie Helen-Premont, who joins Chrissy Redden and Kiara Bisaro.
On the men’s side the federation choose Seamus McGrath over Hesjedal in a decision that will surely raise a few eyebrows.
During the last two years, Hesjedal has shown more promise racing against the world’s elite, taking second in the final NORBA cross-country standings in 2001 and second at last year’s World Cup finals in Mont-Ste-Anne. This year the Subaru-Gary Fisher rider’s results have been erratic, though by comparison Hesjedal still looked to have an advantage over McGrath.
|NORBA XC No. 1||3rd||14th|
|NORBA STXC No. 1||1st||4th|
|World Cup No. 1||29th||13th|
|World Cup No. 2||16th||27th|
|NORBA XC No. 2||28th||5th|
|NORBA STXC No. 2||2nd||3rd|
“It was a hard because there was no clear cut choice,” said Kasharin, who didn’t have a vote but did provide information for the committee which made the decision. “On any given day both could do a great race. It’s just a shame there was only one spot.”
The final straw may have been Hesjedal’s decision to skip the official selection race, stop No. 3 of the Canada Cup series. McGrath did show up, finishing second to Geoff Kabush.
“I know there’s other things to consider and he didn’t have to go,” said Kasharin. “But you also have to respect the open door.”
McGrath joins Kabush and Roland Green, who were both automatic selections (Green is world champion, Kabush won the selection race).
Here’s the complete Canadian Commonwealth Games roster:Mountain Bike