Emmy Lan is living the mountain bike racer’s dream.
The grade 12 Isfeld Secondary student is back home after a huge racing season against the world’s best in Europe. She also won national titles.
In July, Lan took gold in the Junior Expert women’s division (17-18) at the Canadian Downhill Mountain Bike Championships in Golden.
In October, she followed that up with first place in the women’s under 21 at the Enduro National Championships in Whistler. More than 100 mm of rain fell on race day, making for challenging conditions.
“It was a tough race for me as the weather conditions were rainy and freezing,” said 17-year-old Lan said in a recent Comox Valley Record story. “I started out my race with a crash which had me in seventh place, but I managed to make a comeback and push hard for gold, and I ended up two minutes up from second place.”
Lan was a Comox Valley-based Gravity MTB Youth Development Race Team member, coached by Chad Hendren. However, she’s switched teams and now rides for Commencal Canada.
After the Golden event, she headed to Europe to test herself against some of the fastest women on the planet. She placed third in the U21 category at the Enduro World Series in Crans-Montana, Switzerland, in her last European race.
“It was definitely a big jump from the national races to international races with much more difficult tracks and tougher competition,” Lan said.
Lan says she prefers enduro (timed downhill stages), so that will be her main focus next year.
Since she graduated from high school, Lan told Vancouver Island Free Daily that she plans to take a gap year to focus on training, racing and travelling, though she will still apply to UVic, UBC and other BC schools.