Michael Woods, a bronze medallist at the 2018 worlds, and Tour de France rider Hugo Houle will lead Canada at the 2020 UCI Road World Championships.
The competition, scheduled for Sept. 24-27, has been moved to Imola, Italy, from Aigle-Martigny, Switzerland, and will only include road and time trial events for elite women and men.
Woods, who is currently leading the Tirreno-Adriatico race for the EF Education First Pro Cycling Team, is back in action after breaking his femur in a crash in March.
The 33-year-old from Ottawa is moving next year to the Israel Start-Up Nation team, which is co-owned by Canadian-born Sylvan Adams, a former Canadian Masters cycling champion who emigrated to Israel in 2015.
Houle, from Sainte-Perpetue, Que., is currently racing for the Astana Pro Team in the Tour de France.
They will be joined at the worlds by Alex Cataford and Guillaume Boivin, both of Israel Start-Up Nation, for the 259-kilometre road race in Emilia-Romagna. Cataford and Houle will also be competing in the flat 32-kilometre time trial.
"The route is going to be slightly easier than what was originally scheduled but I have a good chance of doing well," said Woods, who now makes his home in Andorra. "I think this course will play out a lot more like what we'd expect at the GP (Grand Prix) Quebec and Montreal and I think it’s going to be super-challenging.
"Representing Canada is always a great source for pride for me. Particularly in this crazy season, wearing the Maple Leaf at the world championships is an honour.”
The women's team will be led by national time-trial champion Leah Kirchmann of Team Sunweb and national road champion Karol-Ann Canuel of the Boels-Dolmans Cycling Team.
They will be racing the 144-kilometre road race alongside Alison Jackson of Team Sunweb, Sara Poidevin of Rally UHC Cycling, Marie-Soleil Blais of Team Cogeas-Mettler-Look and Magdeleine Vallieres-Mills of the WCC Team.
Kirchmann and Canuel will also compete in the time trial.
Due to travel advisories during the pandemic, athletes were only eligible for selection if they were already in Europe as part of their competition program with UCI-registered trade teams.
Guillaume Boivin, Montreal (road race); Alex Cataford, Ottawa (time trial, road race); Hugo Houle, Sainte-Perpetue, Que. (time trial, road race); Michael Woods, Ottawa (road race).
Marie-Soleil Blais, Saint-Rosaire, Que. (road race); Karol-Ann Canuel, Amos, Que. (rime trial, road race); Alison Jackson, Vermilion, Alta. (road race); Leah Kirchmann, Winnipeg (time trial, road race); Sara Poidevin, Canmore, Alta. (road race); Magdeleine Vallieres-Mill, Sherbrooke, Que. (road race).
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 9, 2020.
The Canadian Press