Valley cyclists aim for national titles

Five Comox Valley cyclists will be vying for national titles at the Canadian Road Championships, starting June 28 in Beauce, Que. Nigel and Gillian Ellsay are competing in the elite categories, Ben Katerberg is racing in the U23 division, and junior mountain bikers Emilly Johnston and Carter Woods are trying their hand at road racing.

The Ellsay siblings are both members of the U.S.-based Rally Cycling team. At a recent event in Quebec, Gillian and her team had second- and third-place results at the GP Gatineau. Individually, she placed fifth in the time trial. Nigel is coming back from an injury he sustained at the Tour of California in May. His next race is the Tour de Beauce, which starts Wednesday, June 19.

Katerberg, 18, is also competing in the Tour de Beauce, an annual stage-race in the Beauce region of Quebec. Last season, the 2018 graduate of Isfeld Secondary won two gold medals at the national road championships in Saguenay, Que. He is now living and training in Holland as part of the Sunweb development program.

Johnston, who attends Isfeld, rides for Pendrel Racing. She plans to compete in the road race, time trial and criterium at nationals.

“I just started doing some road racing this year for the first time, so I am really quite new to this aspect of the sport,” she said.

This season, Johnston has raced in the Tucson Bicycle Classic, the Tour de Bloom in Wenatchee, Wash., and in a Vancouver road race.

Woods, of Cumberland, has won numerous provincial and national titles in mountain bike racing and in cyclocross.

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