Back To News

Athlete Spotlight: Emily Handford

This is Emily Handford’s first year on the Mountain Bike High Performance team.  This was an incredible year for Emily, as she took three gold, one silver, and two bronze medals at the Western Canada Summer Games, competing in both road and cross-country events. She also placed second in the Canadian Mountain Bike XC Championships, claimed the BC XC Championship jersey, and placed second in the BC Youth Road Race Championships. Emily was also selected to represent Canada on the world stage at the UCI World Mountain Bike Championships in Vallnord, Andora.

Here’s what Emliy has to say about her season and the year ahead, along with some training advice for other young riders:


I had an awesome, but hectic season this year.  By the time I got home from World’s in Andorra in September, I needed a bit of a break. I took some time to reconnect with family and friends, and give my body some time to decompress from the the busy year.  I did some cross training this year as well, as I am on my high school cross-country running team, racing every week with them. Last week our team won North Shore’s, so we’re off to provincials this weekend!

I’ve also been spending some time figuring out my 2016 season in terms of teams and sponsors. I was selected to train with the NextGen cycling program in Victoria under coach Jeff Ain.  I’m confident it’s going to be a busy, but progressive training season! I will also be racing for the Rocky Mountain Factory Team for the upcoming season. This is super exciting for me.  Although my dad has been the most incredible sponsor I could have, racing with Rocky will help take my race prep to a new level at National and International races, freeing up my dad to be out on course cheering for me.

Our season begins a lot earlier in 2016 because it is an Olympic year, so I’m looking forward to racing the first Canada Cup in early March! My main goals are to qualify for Worlds again and to win the Jr. National Champion jersey.

My best advice for training, especially during the off-season is: don’t make it lazy! I try to think about riding like I want to race. Focus on what you’re doing during training, and make the hours count. A three hour ride where you weren’t really focused on anything is not as good as a one hour ride where you paid attention to every corner. Good luck out there!

Instagram: @emhandford

Charging the rock garden at XC Nationals
Settling in at World's
Getting ready for the team relay at nationals with teammate Sean Fincham
Western Canada Summer Games XC Eliminator race.