Catharine Pendrel is one of two Canadian riders who have satisfied Cycling Canada criteria for cracking the Team Canada roster for the postponed 2020 Olympic Summer Games, which are scheduled to run this year in Tokyo, from July 23 to Aug. 8.
The 40-year-old Kamloopsian placed 23rd in the women’s elite cross-country World Cup event on Sunday in Nova Mesto, Czech Republic, in her second race since giving birth on Jan. 26.
Pendrel could have lost her spot on the Olympic team if another Canadian reached the podium on Sunday, but that did not happen.
“By criteria, yes (she has qualified for Tokyo)," Pendrel wrote on Sunday in an email to KTW. "There could always be an appeal. However, as I was the second highest Canadian women’s result this year, I don’t believe my spot will be contested.”
Emily Batty of Brooklin, Ont., was the top Canadian, placing 17th overall.
The World Cup event in the Czech Republic was the final Olympic qualifier.
Haley Smith of Uxbridge, Ont., is the other Canadian rider who has satisfied criteria to compete for Canada in Tokyo. Pendrel is aiming to compete in her fourth Olympic Games.
Pendrel returned to racing last weekend at the World Cup event in Albstadt, Germany, finishing 52nd in the women’s cross-country Olympic race on May 9 and 34th in the short track event on May 7.
She opted out of the short-track event this past Friday in Nova Mesto and the strategy appeared to pay off on Sunday, with Pendrel placing 29 spots better than last weekend.
"I think last week the heat race day and late travel really impacted my performance, so happy I was able to put together a good race this weekend," Pendrel said.
Loana Lecomte of France earned her second straight World Cup victory, posting a time of one hour, 25 minutes and 13 seconds, finishing six minutes and 47 seconds ahead of Pendrel.
Jenn Jackson of Barrie, Ont., placed 26th to secure the best World Cup finish of her career.
Jackson, 26, moved to Kamloops last spring to train with Pendrel and coach Keith Wilson, who is Pendrel's husband.