Cycling is not a high-profile sport in Canada, but the 1996 Canadian Olympic team boasts some possible medal contenders. The women’s team is particularly strong and includes mountain biker Alison Sydor, road biker Clara Hughes and track rider Tanya Dubnicoff.
Overlooked at home, Canadian cyclists ride for respect in Atlanta
They are household names in Europe, famous in the United States, and some rank among Canada’s most successful professional athletes. They are also becoming more visible-sponsors with products ranging from shampoo to doughnuts splash their faces on national television. But the fact is, Canada’s best cyclists remain largely unknown in their own country. And although more and more Canadians ride recreationally these days, cycling as a competitive sport is about as exciting as lawn bowling for most of the nation’s sports enthusiasts.
That, however, might all change in Atlanta. Over the past few years, Canada has put together a cycling team capable of pedalling to Olympic victory. Among the men, track rider Curt Harnett is a realistic medal hope, and relative old-timer Steve Bauer, 37-Canada’s most accomplished road racer ever-could once again summon a great performance. But the real cream of the Canadian crop is in the women’s team: mountain biker Alison Sydor, road racer Clara Hughes and track rider Tanya Dubnicoff will all be among the favorites in Atlanta. “The women’s cycling team,” says Harnett, “has put the fear of God into opponents.” [Read More…]