By Geoff Lee

June 30, 2016 12:00 AM

Local rider loses bid to join Olympic team

Local cyclist Alison Jackson has to put her Olympic dreams on hold.
The 28 eight year-old pro cyclist, who calls her family’s farm near Vermilion home, was not selected Wednesday by Cycling Canada to its 2016 Rio Games team.
The Olympic team announcement wrapped up the 2016 Global Relay Canadian Road Championships June 25-29 in Ottawa where Jackson competed in the elite/U23 women’s road race Saturday.
She finished fifth in the 110km race, 1:18 behind the winner, the same time gap as the second to 26th place finishers.
Last year, at her first Canadian National Championships, she was crowned National Criterium Champion.
Alberta will be represented in Rio by Olympic medallist Tara Whitten, from Calgary, who edged out Jackson at the national road race championship on Saturday.
Whitten also won the women’s individual time trial in Ottawa Tuesday.
The athletes earned their spots to Rio as part of a two-year qualification process during which their accumulated ranking points qualified Canada for the Games in each discipline. 
In a news release Wednesday, Cycling Canada said after an extensive review of international performances, physiological data analysis and other determining factors, the high performance committee selected the nominated athletes to compete at the Games.
Whitten will be joined by Olympic medalist Jasmin Glaesser as well as returning London 2012 team members Catharine Pendrel, Emily Batty, Laura Brown, Tory Nyhaug and Monique Sullivan.
The team also includes Georgia Simmerling, who competed in alpine skiing at Vancouver 2010 and ski cross at Sochi 2014.
She looks to become the first Canadian athlete to compete in a different sport at each of three Olympic Games.
Had Jackson been picked, it would likely be to compete in the 130km women’s Olympic road race that takes place on Aug. 7.
Jackson plans to return to Lloydminster this weekend to regroup for a possible series of races in Vancouver and Oregon.
In 2015, Jackson became a promising development rider on Twenty16 Ridebiker, a pro cycling team that trains in California.
Her breakout season landed her on top of the podium at races in U.S, Canada and Belgium as well as earning the sprinters jersey at Chico, Tour of the Gila and Tour de l’Ardeche in France.
She headed into the 2016 nationals in Ottawa with a 10th place finish in the Philadelphia International Cycling Classic on June 5.
The Olympic team qualifying period ended May 31.
The Rio 2016 cycling competitions will take place at various venues. Road cycling will be held on Aug. 6 and 7 at Fort Copacabana and Aug. 10 in Pontal.
Track cycling events will be held at the Rio Olympic Velodrome, Aug. 11-15.
The BMX competition will take place at the Olympic BMX Centre, Aug.17-19, followed by the mountain bike races Aug. 20-21 at the Mountain Bike Centre.

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