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Mitchell looks to defend title in Paris as part of Canada's Olympic cycling team

TORONTO — Kelsey Mitchell of Sherwood Park, Alta., will look to defend her Olympic sprint cycling title as part of Canada's cycling team at this summer's Paris Games.

Mitchell, who won gold in the women's sprint on the last day of competition at the Tokyo Olympics, was part of the 21-athlete roster announced Tuesday by Cycling Canada and the Canadian Olympic Committee.

"The journey to my second Olympics in Paris has been full of ups and downs," Mitchell, 30, said in a release. "I grew a lot as a person and an athlete and I am excited to see where I am at when I get on the line.

"I am also looking forward to seeing my younger teammates experience their first Olympics and I know they will show up ready to represent Canada and themselves to the best of their ability. It is going to be an Olympics to remember."

Joining Mitchell on the track will be Lauriane Genest of Levis, Que., who won the women's keirin bronze medal in Tokyo and will compete in the event again in Paris.

Mitchell and Genest will also team with Calgary's Sarah Orban in the team sprint.

Hamilton's James Hedgcock, Tyler Rorke of Baden, Ont., and Nick Wammes of Bothwell, Ont., round out Canada's sprint cyclists.

Victoria's Erin Attwell, Dylan Bibic of Mississauga, Ont., Ariane Bonhomme of Gatineau, Que., Maggie Coles-Lyster of Maple Ridge, B.C., Michael Foley of Milton, Ont., Mathias Guillemette of Trois-Rivières, Que., Hamilton's Carson Mattern and Sarah Van Dam of Victoria will represent Canada in track endurance events.

Ottawa's Michael Woods, who finished fifth in the men's road race in Tokyo, will be back for the Paris Games.

He'll be joined by Derek Gee, also from Ottawa, who competed in track cycling in Tokyo. Gee recently finished third in the multistage Critérium du Dauphiné.

"Tokyo 2020 was an experience of a lifetime and was a real privilege to race with the Maple Leaf on my back on the world's biggest stage," Gee said. "Having spent some time in France already this year and seeing the build-up, I can't wait to experience the atmosphere in Paris this summer."

Alison Jackson of Vermilion, Alta., who won the Paris-Roubaix one-day race in 2023, and Olivia Baril of Rouyn-Noranda, Que., will represent Canada in the women's road race.

Two-time world junior champion Isabella Holmgren, the youngest member of the cycling team at 19, and brother Gunnar Holmgren of Orillia, Ont., will compete in mountain bike, while Molly Simpson of Red Deer, Alta., is Canada's lone BMX racer in Paris.

The quotas for BMX Freestyle will be announced on June 26. Canada is expected to receive a men’s quota spot.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 25, 2024.

The Canadian Press