Comox mountain bike racer Emilly Johnston is pictured at the 2019 MTB World Championships. Photo by Andy Vathis

Comox mountain bike racer Emilly Johnston is pictured at the 2019 MTB World Championships. Photo by Andy Vathis

Two Comox Valley athletes re-join Cycling Canada MTB team

Two Comox Valley teens are among 47 athletes selected for Cycling Canada teams as coaches look ahead to the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Paris.

Emilly Johnston of Comox and Carter Woods of Cumberland, both 18, will re-join the NextGen mountain bike program for the 2021 season.

“Both athletes bring exceptional work ethic, positivity and talent that raise the level of the whole group,” Jeff Ain, Cycling Canada’s mountain bike NextGen coach, said in a statement. “Both Emilly and Carter are focused on an international racing calendar for 2021 with a focus on performances at world cups and world championships in the U23 category.”

Woods has won numerous provincial and national titles. He is a two-time national junior champion who was runner-up at the 2019 Junior World Cup in Albstadt, Germany.

He considers himself lucky to be racing for the Norco Factory Team, which competed this year at world cups in the Czech Republic, and at world championships in Austria.

“Their support over the year was amazing and the team feels like family,” Woods said. “When being so far away from my home, this was very important to me. Our team was committed to each other to be as safe and healthy as possible, so we were able to complete the condensed schedule.”

He said he is focused and ready for what lays ahead in the coming season.

“I am super excited to be selected to the NextGen program. It is important to me to have the coaching and guidance of a program that is supportive both physically and mentally to help navigate this path we are on.”

Johnston is coming off a strong season. She finished eighth and 13th respectively at races in Germany and the Czech Republic. In the latter, she had a big crash off the start but managed to work her way up the field.

“It was so amazing getting to travel to Europe and compete,” said Johnston, who later placed ninth in her division at the MTB World Championships in Quebec. “It was a pretty incredible experience to race my first world championship event on home soil with all the spectators going wild for the Canadian team.”

She returned to Europe for the cyclocross world championships in Dubendorf, Switzerland, where she finished 16th, and for an elite cyclocross world cup in Hoogerheide in the Netherlands. Since there is no junior women’s cyclocross category at world cup events, she raced with the elite women.

“There were thousands and thousands of spectators at both of the events,” she said. “It was a huge honour to be one of the first Canadian women to race in the first ever junior world championship event for cyclocross. There had only ever been a U23 women, so it was a big step for girls in cycling.”

Another highlight was winning the national championship jersey in xco mountain biking and cyclocross. It was the first time nationals included the junior women’s category.

“So it is really incredible to get to say that I was the first ever junior women’s national champion.”

Johnston now lives in Victoria, and is studying economics in her first year of university. She is taking four courses and training full-time to prepare for her first competitive year in a complete world cup circuit as an Under-23 racer.


Emilly Johnston. Photo by Andy Vathis

Carter Woods. Photo by Andy Vathis

Just Posted

Charles Hawkswell, Commander, of the Cape Lazo Power and Sail Squadron, presents a $1,000 cheque to the Comox Valley Marine Rescue Society. File photo
Comox removing moorage fees, hydro for Comox Valley Marine Rescue Society

Last year, the unit and society responded to more than 50 rescue missions in the past year

A Saanich man received almost 10 years in Supreme Court in Courtenay for a shooting incident from 2018. Record file photo
Shooting incident north of Courtenay nets almost 10-year sentence

Richard Daniel Vigneault was arrested without incident and faced 16 counts

Dr. Aref Tabarsi, a general pathologist at the North Island Hospital Campbell River Hospital Medical Laboratory, spoke about the issue of service in the region at a meeting in February 2020. Black Press file photo
Comox Strathcona hospital board wants pathology service back

UPDATED: Board supports move for chair, vice-chair to engage with Island Health on issue

Danielle Egilson has been awarded a $40,000 post-secondary scholarship with The Cmolik Foundation. Photo supplied
Student from Courtenay’s Vanier Secondary lands prestigious scholarship

Cmolik Foundation provides opportunities for youth who’ve experienced adversity

Poverty is a sad reality for some people in the Comox Valley. Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash
Project takes a hard look at poverty in the Comox Valley

Objective is to reduce poverty in the Comox Valley by 25 per cent over four years

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The following is a list of restaurants offering take-out and patio dining. ADOBE STOCK IMAGE
List of Comox Valley restaurants offering take-out, patio dining options

Restaurants in the Comox Valley continue to adapt to government-imposed restrictions in… Continue reading

The only access to 5th Street bridge heading east (toward Lewis Park) is via Anderton Avenue. Photo by Terry Farrell.
Single lane alternating traffic controls on Courtenay bridge now in effect

Single lane alternating traffic on the 5th Street Bridge is now in… Continue reading

On Friday, May 14 at Meadow Gardens Golf Club in Pitt Meadows, Michael Caan joined a very elite club of golfers who have shot under 60 (Instagram)
Crowds at English Bay were blasted with a large beam of light from an RCMP Air-1 helicopter on Friday, May 14. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marc Grandmaison
Police enlist RCMP helicopter to disperse thousands crowded on Vancouver beach

On Friday night, police were witness to ‘several thousand people staying well into the evening’

Sinikka Gay Elliott was reported missing on Salt Spring Island on Wednesday, May 12. (Courtesty Salt Spring RCMP)
Body of UBC professor found on Salt Spring Island, no foul play suspected

Sinikka Elliott taught sociology at the university

The first Black judge named to the BC Supreme Court, Selwyn Romilly, was handcuffed at 9:15 a.m. May 14 while walking along the seawall. (YouTube/Screen grab)
Police apologize after wrongly arresting B.C.’s first Black Supreme Court Justice

At 81 years old, the retired judge was handcuffed in public while out for a walk Friday morning

Queen Elizabeth II and Clive Holland, deputy commonwealth president of the Royal Life Saving Society, top left, virtually present Dr. Steve Beerman, top right, with the King Edward VII Cup for his drowning-prevention work. Tanner Gorille and Sarah Downs were honoured with Russell Medals for their life-saving resuscitation. (Buckingham Palace photo)
Queen presents Vancouver Island doctor with award for global drowning prevention

Dr. Steve Beerman receives Royal Life Saving Society’s King Edward VII Cup at virtual ceremony

Most Read