Comox mountain biker wins U21 world championship

Emmy Lan, centre, on the podium at Loudenvielle, France. Photo by Kike AbelleiraEmmy Lan, centre, on the podium at Loudenvielle, France. Photo by Kike Abelleira
The 18-year-old from Comox won the U21 Enduro World Series championship. Photo by Kike AbelleiraThe 18-year-old from Comox won the U21 Enduro World Series championship. Photo by Kike Abelleira
Emmy Lan in action during the race in Crans Montana, Switzerland. Photo by Kike AbelleiraEmmy Lan in action during the race in Crans Montana, Switzerland. Photo by Kike Abelleira
Still hurting from a shoulder injury, Emmy still won the race in Crans Montana, Switzerland. Photo by Kike AbelleiraStill hurting from a shoulder injury, Emmy still won the race in Crans Montana, Switzerland. Photo by Kike Abelleira
Emmy gives it her all on the trails in Crans Montana. Photo by Kike AbelleiraEmmy gives it her all on the trails in Crans Montana. Photo by Kike Abelleira
Emmy Lan. Photo by Kike AbelleiraEmmy Lan. Photo by Kike Abelleira

Emmy Lan of Comox has won a world title in mountain biking.

In her first season of racing in Europe, the 18-year-old captured the 2022 Under-21 world championship Saturday in France at the final race of the Enduro World Series.

She competed in five events in the eight-race series, and won each time.

“I am thrilled to be the U21 champion, and trying to enjoy the success and let it sink in, while staying focused for the EWS Trophy of Nations race this weekend,” Lan said by email Tuesday, Sept. 27.

In May and June, she raced the first three EWS rounds in Tweed Valley, Scotland; Petzen-Jamnica in Austria and Slovenia; and Val di Fassa, Italy. The final two rounds were in Crans Montana, Switzerland and Loudenvielle, France.

The championship is calculated on results from the best five out of eight races. Lan missed the three rounds in North America, and the downhill world championships in France, due to an injury she sustained Aug. 7. On race morning, she had a bad crash while training for the pro stage of the Whistler EWS. Devastated by the thought of not competing, she tried to push through, even though she couldn’t hold onto the handlebar.

“I was really bummed to not be able to race the only EWS race in Canada, at home, in front of my friends and family,” Lan said.

An X-ray confirmed an AC shoulder tear, which meant six weeks off the bike. Though “gutted,” she got busy with recovery and kept her eye on the prize — the EWS overall title. During time off at home, she organized the second annual Connecting Sister Shredders event in Cumberland.

Six weeks to the day after the crash, Lan was lining up for the race in Switzerland. Her shoulder still hurt, and she had lost some fitness, but rather than focus on the result, she rode for fun.

“Luckily for me, fun is fast!” she said.

In France, the conditions were slick, but she’s used to such conditions from riding and training in the Comox Valley. Despite a few mistakes, her time would have put her 12th among pro women.

“I have two more years in the U21 category but I am always working towards improving, getting faster and seeing how I stack up against those fast women in the pro category,” Lan sad.

She heads home mid-October after the EWS Trophy of Nations team event. She plans to work, but will continue to train as she looks ahead to her 2023 goal of retaining the U21 world title.

RELATED: Comox mountain biker wins pair of 2021 national championships



reporter@comoxvalleyrecord.com

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