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Johnston and Holmgren earn Canadian CX titles in Victoria

Under-23 and junior women's results from Layritz Park

Emilly Johnston Photo by: Nick Iwanyshyn

The junior and under-23 women’s races saw the return of one champion and the rise of another on Saturday at Layritz Park.

Emilly Johnston, already a junior cyclocross national champ the last time the event was held in 2019, stormed through a field of challengers from the other side of the Rockies to take her first u23 women’s ‘cross title.

Isabella Holmgren built on an already successful season to win her first junior women’s cyclocross national championships, solo-ing to a solid win on Saturday in Victoria, B.C.

Christiane Bilodeau took the hole shot for the strong Alberta squad in the u23 women’s race. Photo by Nick Iwanyshyn

Under-23 women: Johnston wins on west coast

Emilly Johnston was racing on home turf in the under-23 women’s event, and clearly intended to make the most of it. While her home is three hours north on Vancouver Island, the Comox Valley rider attends school in Victoria.

Johston followed Francis before taking over the lead. Photo by Nick Iwanyshyn

Johnston established a lead in the first of four laps but, with Juventus CC’s Jenaya Francis just five seconds back, it was far from safe. The Alberta rider managed to hold the gap to 10 seconds at the halfway point before Johnston pushed out to 20 seconds on lap three. Francis fought back, holding the gap on the fourth and final lap.

Emilly Johnston wins the under-23 Canadian cyclocross national championships.

“I really didn’t know, I haven’t done a ton of cross races this year. So the plan was just to go and have fun and race a smart race, hit the corners well and push the technical sections instead of pushing the straightaways” Johnston said of her strategy going into the race. “I think it worked out well with the technical focus and I had a really good time doing it.”

“I loved the course. It had such a good mix of fast and really technical sections,” Johnston added. “Having it be a bit slick made it even more fun.”

Jenaya Francis takes silver with fellow Albertan, Ella Myers joining her on the podium in the bronze medal position.

Isabella Holmgren with Madeleine Pollock on her wheel early in the junior women’s race. Photo by Nick Iwanyshyn

Junior women: Holmgren takes solo win

Sister Isabella and Ava Holmgren split up for this race. 17-year-old Isabella chose to race juniors and, after a season full of success in all race categories this fall, quickly established herself on the front of the field. It was up to Rafaelle Carrier and Ella Smith to take up chase.

Isabella Holmgren junior women's cyclocross national championships
Holmgren would solo to the junior women’s cyclocross national title at Layritz Park. Photo by Nick Iwanyshyn

Holmgren was not to be caught, though. After setting the fastest lap time on each of four laps at Layritz Park, the Stimulus Orbea racer finished with a 37-second lead over Carrier in second place. Isabella Holmgren is the 2022 junior women’s cyclocross national champion.

Raphaelle Carrier takes second and Ella Smith third in the junior women’s event.

Results: Under-23 Women

1 Johnston, Emilly – Norco Factory Team 
2 Francis, Jenaya – Alberta / Juventus CC 
3 Myers, Ella – Team Alberta 
4 Bilodeau, Christiane – Juventus CC 
5 Blouin-Comeau, Frederica – Ellevate 
6 Macphee, Ella – Charge BCXC Racing 
7 Thomsen, Vanessa – Fitworks 
8 Harker, Jamie +4:14.56
9 Coles-Lyster, Kaelen – Local Ride Racing 

Results: Junior Women

1 Holmgren Isabella – Stimulus Orbea 
2 Carrier, Rafaelle +0:37.33
3 Smith, Ella – Ottawa Bicycle Club 
4 Pollock, Madeleine – Team Devo 
5 Rodgers, Geza – Liv Canada Off-Road Team 
6 Henry, Heidi – Broad Street Cycles 
7 Chen, Kimberly – The Cycling Co. Dirt Squad 
8 Swierenga, Sidney – Team Devo 
9 Bradbury, Sophie +5:25.97
10 Thomson, Ashton – Team Alberta/Rundle Mountain CC 
11 Hamilton, Keely -1
12 Samuelson, Amanda – Hardwood Next Wave