Three Valley riders win divisions at Bear Mountain

A trio of local mountain bikers won divisions at the Bear Mountain Canada Cup in Victoria.

Carter Woods of Cumberland won the junior men’s race, Emilly Johnston of Comox was first to finish among junior women, and Erik Ashton, 15, of Courtenay’s Trail Bicycles Racing took top honours in the U-17 men’s race. The latter was added as a Canada Cup category in 2018.

Woods, a distance education student at Vanier Secondary, was coming off back-to-back wins at U.S. Cup races in California the previous two weekends.

In Victoria, he won by a five-minute margin. He created a gap on the opening climb and never looked back. By the end of the five-lap race, Woods had made up a two-minute gap to ride through much of the elite men’s field. Fellow Comox Valley rider Kieran Nilsen was fourth.

Johnston also jumped out to an early lead in her race as she chased elite women racers who had started two minutes earlier. She finished with a three-minute advantage, and had caught some top-10 elite racers by the time she finished four laps of the Bear Mountain course.

The event was the first round of Canada Cup cross country racing for 2019.

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