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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Emilly Johnston. Photo by Andy Vathis

Carter Woods. Photo by Andy Vathis

Just Posted

Courtenay councillor Will Cole-Hamilton, standing at right, sits on steering committees of two organizations that are tackling the problem of greenhouse gas emissions. File photo
Courtenay councillor leads campaign to reduce building-sector GHG emissions

Courtenay councillor Will Cole-Hamilton wants local governments to carry a little more… Continue reading

A rendering shows the entrance planned for the Hornby Island Arts Centre. Image supplied
Numerous Comox Valley projects get CERIP grants

Numerous Comox Valley projects have received grants through the Community Economic Recovery… Continue reading

Thrifty Foods. (Black Press file photo)
Thrifty Foods confirms staff member tests positive for COVID-19 in Courtenay

The company currently lists 12 stores within B.C. with confirmed cases

Comox Valley Schools’ distance learning program, Navigate (NIDES), which saw some large gains in enrolment this year, could see a return to normal numbers come September. Image, screenshot
Comox Valley Schools expects enrolment drop come fall

Decline projected online, as more students return to ‘bricks-and-mortar’ classes

Cumberland will be looking to a parcel tax to cover debt for its new water system. File photo
Cumberland plans for parcel tax to cover water debt

Parcel tax review panel would take place March 22, if necessary

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
B.C. reports 10 additional deaths, 395 new COVID-19 cases

The majority of new coronavirus infections were in the Fraser Health region

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

Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools is preparing a rapid response team proposal for submission to the B.C. Ministry of Education. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Nanaimo-Ladysmith school district chosen as COVID-19 rapid response team

Team to consist of SD68 and Island Health staff, according to B.C. Ministry of Education

A new survey has found that virtual visits are British Columbian’s preferred way to see the doctor amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Unsplash)
Majority of British Columbians now prefer routine virtual doctor’s visits: study

More than 82% feel virtual health options reduce wait times, 64% think they lead to better health

Captain and Maria, a pair of big and affectionate akbash dogs, must be adopted together because they are so closely bonded. (SPCA image)
Shuswap SPCA seeks forever home for inseparable Akbash dogs

A fundraiser to help medical expenses for Captain and Maria earned over 10 times its goal

The missing camper heard a GSAR helicopter, and ran from his tree well waving his arms. File photo
Man trapped on Manning mountain did nearly everything right to survive: SAR

The winter experienced camper was overwhelmed by snow conditions

Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen, all 20, drown in the Sooke River in February 2020. (Contributed photos)
Coroner confirms ‘puddle jumping’ in 2020 drowning deaths of 3 B.C. men

Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen pulled into raging river driving through nearby flooding

Castlegar doctor Megan Taylor contracted COVID-19 in November. This photo was taken before the pandemic. Photo: Submitted
Kootenay doctor shares experience contracting COVID-19

Castlegar doctor shares her COVID experience

Ashley Paxman, 29, is in the ICU after being struck by a vehicle along Highway 97 Feb. 18, 2021. She remains in critical condition. (GoFundMe)
Okanagan woman in ICU with broken bones in face after being struck by car

She remains in serious condition following Feb. 18 incident

Most Read