A golden finish in Golden put a Comox mountain-biker on top of the podium.
As a result, Emmy Lan, 17, will be heading to Europe in August to compete in her first-ever Worlds.
She is national champ in the Junior Expert Women 17-18 field after a strong performance, winning by 33 seconds, at the Canadian Downhill Mountain Bike Championships in Golden, B.C. on July 25. The Golden event followed a couple of Canada Cup races at Fernie and Panorama Resort earlier in July where she also took top spot.
Lan has one more BC Cup race coming up on Aug. 5 and after that, she will fly from Vancouver to Europe where she will compete against top international downhill riders at World Cup events in Maribor, Slovenia and Lenzerhiede, Switzerland. She will also represent Canada at the Downhill World Championships in Val di Sole, Italy.
“It’ll be like a whole new experience,” she says.
Both her parents and her brother ride, so getting on a mountain bike was natural for her at age four, and she started racing when she was eight.
“It’s always something that we do,” she says.
Even competing right now is an adjustment for Lan after a layoff of about 22 months due to COVID-19 restrictions. In the interim, she spent time in the gym and on the bike to stay sharp.
“I was riding a ton, almost every days,” she says.
She also went over video from previous races as part of her training, but it was still an adjustment to get back to racing.
‘It was a long time not racing,” she says. “It was definitely a shock.”
Now, she is getting ready for racing in Europe. In addition to downhill mountain biking, she competes in enduro, in which riders compete in timed downhill sections along with untimed portions in stages and will be at her first Enduro World Series race on Sept. 12 in Crans-Montana, Switzerland.
She has attracted a lot of support locally, including from Trail Bicycles, Gravity MTB, Ride Like A Girl, Adam Walker and Joel Harwood from Cycling BC, to help her on her journey, and she also rounded up her first sponsor, Commencal Canada. This backing becomes all the more important when moving from national to international racing, and she is looking to a GoFundMe page to help cover more costs. At the same time, she has made a point of giving back as an ambassador for the Ride Like A Girl program and hosted an event for girls ages nine to 12 who want to ride. People can follow her racing on Instagram by checking out @emmy.bikes.