Sport Shorts: Barry, Hesjedal to Race Tour de France
Paris: For 3,642 km, the world’s most prestigious cycling event begins July 3 and ends 22 days later. Two high-profile Canadian riders will pedal the Tour de France, Victoria’s Ryder Hesjedal and Toronto’s Michael Barry. Hesjedal (Team Garmin-Transitions) makes his third appearance at the Tour de France; his top mark was finishing second in a stage in 2009. As a mountain biker, he won two gold and two silver medals at World Championships early last decade. He is a two-time Olympian, most recently in road events in 2008. For Barry (Team Sky), it is his first Tour de France. He has competed at all major international events and is a three-time Olympian with a top result of ninth in the road race in 2008.
Caracas: Canada’s women’s softball team is now 4-1 at the World Championships in Caracas, VEN. On Sunday they suffered their first loss, 2-1 to Olympic champion Japan. Canadian pitchers Danielle Lawrie (starter) and Jenna Caira (reliever) surrendered just six hits. Canada is second behind Japan (5-0) and the U.S. (5-0), the latter of which has won the past six world titles.
Edmonton: The national road cycling championships ran over the weekend in downtown Edmonton, and featured a dramatic surprise victor on the women’s side. Joëlle Numainville won a sprint to the finish ahead of favourite Tara Whitten and last year’s champion, Alison Testoete. Numainville won in three hours, 14:21. On the men’s side, Will Routely took the title, crossing the finish line one bicycle length ahead of Andrew Randell.
San Salvador: Canadians won three more medals in judo over the weekend. At a World Cup in San Salvador, El Salvador, Myriam Lamarche nabbed silver in the 63 kg event while Bianca Ockedahl and Antoine Valois-Fortier captured bronze medals in the 48 kg and 81 kg events. It was just the third World Cup of Lamarche’s career.
Saskatoon: Canadian divers were in full force in Saskatoon for the summer national championships. Eric Sehn (Edmonton) won two gold medals in one-metre and 10-metre tower. Meaghan Benfeito (Montreal) won gold in 10-metre tower, as well as 10-metre synchro (with Roseline Filion of Laval, Que). Alexandre Despatie (Laval) also won two gold medals, in 3-metre and 3-metre synchro (with Regina’s Reuben Ross). Jennifer Abel (Laval) had a strong competition as well, winning gold in 3-metre over three-time Olympic medallist Emilie Heymans (St-Lambert Que.).
Henley-on-Thames: A slew of Canada’s best rowers, including a rich serving of Olympians, are headed to the Henley Royal Regatta in England this week. It runs June 30 to July 4 along the Thames River. Follow the action here: www.hrr.co.uk.