Cyclist raises arm while crossing finish line

Team Canada heads to Tokyo 2020 with largest cycling team in Canadian Olympic history

TORONTO (July 6, 2021) – Cycling Canada and the Canadian Olympic Committee have announced the mountain bike and BMX athletes as well as the final road athlete nominated for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

With these final nominations, the Tokyo 2020 team will be Cycling Canada’s largest Olympic delegation to date, with 23 nominated in road, track, mountain bike and BMX.

Following the confirmation of Canada’s final Olympic quotas in early June, mountain bike and BMX athletes were selected based on their performances at UCI World Cups and World Championships in 2019 and 2021. The road selections were announced in July 2020, with the third men’s road race selection being postponed in order to properly assess his ability to play a support role for team leader Michael Woods.

The mountain bike team will be led by Rio 2016 Olympic bronze medallist and two-time world champion Catharine Pendrel. Pendrel, who became a mother in January, will be competing at her fourth Olympic Games. Her illustrious career includes wins at the Pan American Games, the Commonwealth Games, the UCI World Championships and at numerous World Cups including three overall champion titles.

“I’m incredibly honoured to represent Canada this summer in Tokyo,” said Pendrel. “The sport has evolved so much since my first Olympic Games in Beijing 13 years ago. The Tokyo course won’t disappoint mountain bike fans and I’m looking forward to lining up against the best in the world again soon.”

She will be joined by Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Haley Smith, who clinched her first World Cup medal in 2019 in Nove Mesto, and Peter Disera, who secured Canada’s only men’s nomination with a career-best sixth place at the Les Gets World Cup in 2019. Smith and Disera will both be competing at their first Olympic Games. The men’s race is on July 26 and the women’s race on July 27 (Day 3 and 4) at the Izu Mountain Bike Course, located 120 km outside of Tokyo.

Drew Mechielsen and James Palmer will also be making their Olympic debuts in BMX Racing, which will be held at the Ariake Urban Sports Park in Tokyo on July 29 and 30 (Day 6 and 7). The two Canadian champions have extensive international race experience, having both competed on the World Cup circuit for several years, in addition to racing at the Lima 2019 Pan American Games. Canada last qualified a woman in BMX at Beijing 2008 where the sport was introduced to the Olympic program.

“This has been my dream for as long as I can remember and I could not be more pleased to be named to the Canadian Olympic Team,” said Mechielsen. “My journey through this sport has brought so many highs and lows and I really just want to enjoy the experience as best I can. My goal is to be as prepared as possible and perform to my highest potential.”

At 234km, the men’s road race will be the longest event of the Olympic Games. The race will start in Musashinonomori Park in northwestern Tokyo on June 24 (Day 1) and finish at the Fuji International Speedway near the iconic Mount Fuji. The mountainous course features more than 4000m of climbing.

Leading the men’s team will be Michael Woods, who will be supported by Hugo Houle and the final addition to the team, Guillaume Boivin. With more than eight years of UCI World Tour experience under his belt, Boivin is an ideal support rider for Woods on the challenging course.

“I’m extremely proud to be part of the Canadian Olympic Team heading to Tokyo,” said Boivin. “My only goal at the Games is to support Mike to the best of my ability and to help him reach the goal of winning a medal for Canada.”

“Watching these athletes perform at the level they do should often come with a ‘don’t try (all of) this at home’ warning, as well as an encouragement to try,” said Team Canada’s Tokyo 2020 Chef de Mission, Marnie McBean. “Almost all Canadians have access to a bike and these sports. BMX and Mountain bikes offer another example of how to play and perform on two wheels.”

The athletes nominated are:

Mountain Bike (Cross-country)

Peter Disera (Horseshoe Valley, Ont.)
Catharine Pendrel (Kamloops, B.C.)
Haley Smith (Uxbridge, Ont.)

Non-travelling Alternates

Emily Batty (Brooklin, Ont.)
Léandre Bouchard (Alma, Que.) 

BMX Racing

Drew Mechielsen (Langley, B.C.)
James Palmer (North Vancouver, B.C.)

Non-travelling Alternates

Molly Simpson (Red Deer, Alta.)
Alex Tougas (Pitt Meadows, B.C.) 


Guillaume Boivin (Montréal, Que.) – Road Race
Karol-Ann Canuel* (Amos, Que.) – Road Race, Time Trial
Hugo Houle* (Ste-Perpétue, Que.) – Road Race, Time Trial
Leah Kirchmann* (Winnipeg, Man.) – Road Race, Time Trial
Michael Woods* (Ottawa, Ont.) – Road Race
*Previously nominated 

Non-travelling Alternates

Alexander Cataford (Ottawa, Ont.) 
Alison Jackson (Vermilion, Alta.) 
Benjamin Perry (St. Catharines, Ont.)
James Piccoli (Montreal, Que.) 
Sara Poidevin (Canmore, Alta.) 


Steve Bauer (St. Catharines, Ont.) – Road Sports Director
Adam Muys (Maple Ridge, B.C.) – BMX
Dan Proulx (Calgary, Alta.) – Mountain bike

The complete list of road and track athletes nominated can be found here.

Prior to being nominated to Team Canada, all nominations are subject to approval by the Canadian Olympic Committee’s Team Selection Committee following its receipt of nominations by all National Sport Organizations.

The latest Team Canada Tokyo 2020 roster can be found here and the qualification tracker can be found here.



Karine Bedard, Marketing & Communications Manager
Cycling Canada
WhatsApp: 438-884-8771

Josh Su, Specialist, Public Relations
Canadian Olympic Committee
C: 647-464-4060

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